Twenty young people are officially United States citizens.
They received their certificates of citizenship during a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ceremony held on Friday in Fresno.
A total of 20 boys and girls, ages 2 to 16, were recognized. It’s all thanks to the hard work of their parents going through the process of becoming citizens and in turn, they automatically become citizens too.
“Welcome. Children from Mexico, India, the Philippines, Yemen, Iran, El Salvador, Laos,” said one of the speakers during the ceremony.
“I felt relief and I felt happy for my parents and myself because now I feel like now I can reach my goals and do whatever I want in life,” said 12-year-old, Alondra Garcia.
Garcia came to the United States at the age of 4 from Mexico.
“I had to learn English and it was difficult at first but with work with my parents and my teachers, I reached my goals,” Garcia explained.
The ceremony honored the children of those who have become naturalized U.S. citizens.
“This meant a lot because it took my parents a lot of work and goals to get to reach this moment because my dad and my parents don’t know a lot of English,” Garcia said.
Whenever a parent goes through the process of becoming a citizen that person’s children automatically become U.S. citizens, too.
“As long as they are under the age of 18 they will receive the citizenship certificate,” said Dr. Marshall Lancaster, Supervisor of U.S. Citizenship Immigration Services in Fresno.
“When I came here, I felt very different from here and now that I’m a U.S. citizen I feel more comfortable, I feel like I’m united in here,” Garcia concluded.
Ceremonies similar to this one are held at the Fresno Convention Center each month where as many as 1,000 people receive their citizenship.