Dozens of kids complete path to citizenship in Fresno

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The 34 kids from ages four to 18 years old received their official documents at the Central Branch Library. (KFSN)

Over 30 kids in Fresno have now become United States citizens, they've completed their last step in the process and have received their official papers Saturday.

"We came to see my daughter get the big oath to become a citizen, and we're so glad to be here," Cuauhtemo Garibo said.

The 34 kids from ages four to 18 years old received their official documents at the Central Branch Library - a diverse group of a younger generation from countries like Mexico, India, the Philippines, and Egypt - all who can now prove citizenship in the U.S.

"Being a citizen means a lot to me, bearing arms and defending my country if I need to just an amazing experience," Hani Tomeh said.

It's a procedure made simpler for kids under the age of 18 whose immigrant parents have gone through the naturalization process -enabling them to get to this point and become part of the country they now call home.

"They came here from the Philippines, and they gave us the life that they think we deserved, and we thank them for that," Denise Papilota said.

Children of those parents automatically become citizens if they live with them and are permanent residents. But they still need to file for a certificate of citizenship. The United States Citizen and Immigration Services will then give them their official documents.

"We expect them to vote when they're 18," said Lynn Feldman, USCIS field office director. "We expect them to become educated in college and grad school and what not and to represent the U.s. government.

Feldman says they will welcome more than 30,000 new citizens in naturalization ceremonies this week in honor of Constitution and Citizenship Day.

"It's an honor, I love my country," Tomeh said. "And it was just an honor being here and experiencing what I experienced."
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