28 citizens get naturalized on Cesar Chavez Day

Posted at 6:01 PM, Mar 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-31 21:01:57-04

28 Kern County residents became U.S. Citizens Thursday morning. For many, it was extra special because today marks Cesar Chavez day.

Cesar Chavez is known for spearheading the labor union movement for farm workers in the U.S. in the 1960s.

And today one man's achievement epitomized the dream of Cesar Chavez.

The road to becoming a U.S. Citizen is described as long and tough.

For farm worker, Severiano Cruz Bautista, getting naturalized was 25 years in the making.

"In Mexico, there's hardly any work. We live in a very poor state, that's why we decided to move here with the family," he said.

Cruz moved to the U.S. in 1983 from Oaxaca, Mexico. He wanted a better life for his wife and kids.

Cruz lives in Arvin where he also works as a grape picker. As a farm worker, Cruz said becoming a U.S. citizen on Cesar Chavez Day is that much more meaningful to him.

"I'm very happy thanks to the man that fought for the poor," said Bautista, "because of the leader, we're receiving better treatment."

Cruz, along with 27 other immigrants from 8 different countries,  became citizens today.

The ceremony was held at the Cesar Chavez National Monument in Keene.

Chavez's son, Paul, was there to congratulate the new citizens.

California Secretary of State, Alex Padilla, said our nation gets better when we welcome and embrace immigrants.

"It's bringing in that work ethic, it's bringing in that drive and really that drive to this nation and to the future," said Padilla.

Meanwhile, Bautista looks forward to voting and helping his family get their citizenship.

"We're all human. We all have the right to be well in this country."

For more information on becoming a U.S. Citizen, click here


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