Forty-nine people hailing from nine different countries became US citizens in California naturalization ceremony, according to the Hollister Free Lance.
The ceremony was held in the Hollister Municipal Airport in celebration of the upcoming Fourth of July holiday. In Hollister, California, town officials only hold citizenship ceremonies once a year for areas including the counties of San Benito, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara and Monterey, the newspaper reports. US Representative Sam Farr was the keynote speaker and discussed the implications of gaining US citizenship.
“It brings vast opportunities but also a fundamental responsibility,” Farr said. “It comes with the responsibility, as citizens, to make our country better.”
For Senegal native Serigne Ndiaye, becoming a citizen signaled the end of a 14 year journey. Ndiaye came to the US in 1996 to start a new life for his family. After years of work and with the help of Farr’s office, Ndiyae told the media outlet he can finally send for his wife and daughter in Senegal.
“This means a lot to me,” he said. “I can make a better life for me and my family. I can bring them to America.”
Almost 600,000 immigrants are naturalized in the US each year, according to US Citizenship and Immigration Service