Thirty foreign-born men and women took the oath Friday afternoon to become western Massachusetts’ newest naturalized American citizens
This marked the fifth year Western New England University Law School hosted the naturalization proceedings. Men and women from 23 different countries including China, el Salvador, Poland and Somalia, have been living in western Massachusetts for years.
They were emotional explaining to 22News, how much American citizenship means so much to them.
Lijua Ma, a newly naturalized citizen, told 22News she became a citizen because, “I loved and I love China. But I do love this country.”
Another newly-naturalized citizen, Alvaro Arttubea, said he became a citizen because “We can do something with the vote, when you are a citizen.”
U.S. District Court Judge Mark Mastroianni welcomed the new citizens. He said America is a nation of immigrants, and if you search past generations of families enough, most of us have roots in other countries.