24 New U.S. Citizens
Today, 24 locals became citizens of the United States in a naturalization ceremony in Richland.
Sanjeshni Lata migrated to America from Fiji 14 years ago and said she's thrilled to take advantage of her new liberties.
"I think it's a great feeling now, I have the opporunity to be a part of the U.S. and have all the rights as a U.S. citizen so I feel really blessed," said Lata.
Cinthia Holman of Brazil said she's overhwhelemed with joy that it's finally happening.
"It's a dream I've had since I was 15 and now I'm here," said Holman. "It was a victory."
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service presented local immigrants before U.S.District Court Senior Judge Edward Shea to be sworn in as new U.S. citizens .
Congressman Doc Hastings was the featured speaker for the ceremony.
"With the exception of Native Americans, the United States is a country of immigrants and now we have a new wave of people coming that wanted to be citizens, that wanted to be free in a country that promotes liberty so it's an honor to be here as a part of that ceremony," said Hastings.
The Daughters of the American Revolution hosted a reception following the ceremony and The Washington League of Women Voters registered the new citizens to vote.
A privelage Eduardo Hurtado from Mexico said he's proud to now able to participate in.
"It feels good, your voice can be heard, either voting for president or even here in the Tri-Cities," said Hurtado.
The new citizens came from Mexico, Bosnia-Herzegovina, India, Brazil, The United Kingdom, Columbia, China and Fiji.