Immigrants from 37 countries living in CTX become U.S. Citizens - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Immigrants from 37 countries living in CTX become U.S. Citizens

Source: KXXV Source: KXXV

On Friday, 145 people from 37 different countries became naturalized citizens at a ceremony that took place at Central Texas College.

The immigrants took an oath of allegiance to the United States of America during an event that some of them describe as emotional.

For Nestie Alvarez who is originally from the Philippines becoming a citizen is a milestone.

"I'm feeling great and I'm really proud that I'm a citizen now,” Alvarez said.

The mother of two who is married to a U.S. soldier said she wants to give back to the country she has been living in since 2009.

“I really want to contribute here in America,” Alvarez said.

The 30-year-old is excited for the future, which includes plans to open a business in Killeen. She promises to never forget where she came from.

“You have to look where you came from. Even though you are a citizen now, you are still proud of yourself for who you are,” Alvarez said.

44-year-old Ana Maria Reyes who is an immigrant from Mexico said she came to the U.S. to help her family who lives in Waco.

Reyes who came to the U.S. in 1997 is glad to be a citizen 20 years later.

"My heart is happy because not everyone has that opportunity,” Reyes said.

U.S. Congressman John Carter (TX-31) was the keynote speaker at the event, told the crowd his wife originally from the Netherlands went through a naturalization ceremony.

“My wife is an immigrant. I’m proud to tell you that. I’m proud to say she sat were you are sitting right now in late 1976,” Carter said.

He told the naturalized citizens to embrace this new chapter.

“Keep being courageous, keep being chance takers and do it for you, your family and your community,” Carter said.

The former judge encouraged them to serve on a jury and vote.

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