25 Local Immigrants Become Citizens Today

<p>Naturalization Ceremony</p>

Naturalization Ceremony

25 people from 13 different countries just become U.S. Citizens today inside the Feredal Building in Richland.

It's a proud and exciting day for all of them and a few of them tell me they've been in this country for more than a decade and have been working really hard to be a part of it.

"It feels great, I feel more apart of this country now and I think through this citizenship, I'll be able to do more things also for this country," said Maldonado.

Maldonado is a Mexican native and has been living in the U.S. for 15 years.

He said his citizenship has been a long time coming and he said others who were in his shoes are sometimes discrouraged from applying but after today's experience, he said it's worth it.

"I think people are afraid of applying and it's not so difficult,"said Maldonado. "It's simple to apply and do the requirements, it's not that hard."

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.

The group was made up of immigrants from, amongst others, the Ukraine, Ghana, the Philippines, Afghanisan and Mexico.

Following the ceremony, representatives from the Franklin County Auditors Office along with the Washington League of Women Voters helped the new citizens to register to vote.

Yvonne Boyd of England said she can't wait to take advantage of her new found opportunity.

"I'm excited to be able to vote, we've lived in this city for 14 years and seen several presidents and there are local things I'd like to vote on, school district decisions and things like that," said Boyd.

These new citizens tell me their hard work will not stop here.

They said day in and day out, they will be working hard to be active members of the community.