Couples Celebrate Valentine's With Citizenship

<p>Matthew Duff</p>

Matthew Duff

If you stepped into the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in Yakima, you'd notice that the office was a little more... Pink than usual.

Love is in the air , and so are hopes dreams for ten brand new U.S. citizens.

Matthew and Mary Duff were one of five qualified couples granted their citizenship as part of a Valentine's Day ceremony this morning.

The Duffs moved to Yakima from Scotland in 2002, and haven't looked back.

"It's the same type of weather, well I would say you get far more sunshine here in Yakima," said Mary Duff, "It's just a lovely place to be."

"My daughter's here, my son-in-law, my grandkids, we've been here ten years now," said Matthew Duff, "So everything points to us all being here, and we all want to be here."

The Duffs were also joined by couples originating from India, Iran, Italy and Russia.

"Today, I am a citizen, I am very happy," said Shahpar Jadidi, "Happy Valentine's Day!"

Immigration Services says this is the first time it's done a couples ceremony in Yakima.

It was such a huge success, it plans on doing more in the future.

"We think it's a great opportunity to recognize couples who are married and obviously love each other and also want to commit to the United States with the love of their new country," said Field Office Director Keith Brown.

Matthew and Mary Duff say they plan on spending their first Valentine's Day as U.S. citizens out on the town they've come to love.

"I keep telling people, don't knock Yakima; I could take you places in the world that we've been, and Yakima would be paradise," said Matthew Duff, "Don't knock Yakima."

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security says it grants citizenship to about 1,100 people per year in Yakima County.