20 children become US citizens in special Central Valley ceremony

Twenty children in the Central Valley have now become United States citizens.

Each one completed the last step in the process and received an official certificate on Friday.

"Probably being a child or a young adult they may not understand the significance of it as much, but nonetheless, it is a very meaningful event in their life," said Marshall Lancaster of the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services.

Lancaster said this procedure is simple for children under the age of 18 whose immigrant parents have gone through the naturalization process.

That enables them to get to this point and become part of the country they now call home.

Abulklim Abdullah's son Joseph is now a U.S. citizen.

The 14-year-old was born in Yemen and moved to America three years ago.

"They are going to have a future in this country. We are glad to be here in the U.S.A. to have a life, to have freedom. They can get a good education and study in school and do something better for their life," said Abdullah.

The ceremony took place at the Woodward Park Regional Library to celebrate Children's Day.

This class of new citizens ranges in age from 2 to 16. The parents of each child filed the paperwork to begin the process.

Alondra Garcia Ochoa moved to the U.S. from Mexico at the age of four with her parents.

Her father immediately studied the process to become a citizen so she could soon follow.

"It took a lot of hard work not just for my parents but also for me because I came here knowing no English, I didn't know anything. So we both had to work very hard and we're very happy," said Garcia Ochoa.
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