New Americans naturalized in Howard County

New Americans naturalized in Howard County

In 2012, Benish Irfan and her young children left behind everything they knew in Lahore, Pakistan. They traveled more than 7,000 miles to join Irfan's husband, an American citizen, stepping off the plane in a country where Irfan couldn't speak the language.

The family found a home in Ellicott City so their children could attend the county's public schools. Irfan, who has a master's degree in education, raises her three young children while working part-time as a cashier at Walmart, where she said she is standing for four hours at a time. She learned English without taking a class. Her husband works as a cab driver.

"Life's not easy," Irfan said. But on the morning of...