Naturalization ceremony held in Keene at Cesar E. Chavez National Monument

KEENE, Calif. -

Today 26 men and women received their citizenship papers one by one and became brand-new citizens of the United States.


Each of them felt a different emotion going thorough that process but they all had one feeling in common...happiness.


Happiness was something that could be felt throughout the whole room while men and women from all ages and different backgrounds received their citizenship at the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument this morning. Most of the recipients were from Mexico.


"Oh...very happy," said Francisco Javier Horta, a new citizen. “I feel very excited to be in this place because you can say it is a sacred place, where Cesar Chavez and his wife were buried and I’m very happy to be here,” said Simon De La Rosa, another new citizen.


This is a place where around 200 people have taken the same steps that these brand-new citizens have. 


“It’s seeing the new citizens and their families with that big smile on their faces after they take the oath and say the pledge of allegiance,” said Paul Chavez, president of Cesar Chavez Foundation, and son of Cesar Chavez.


Each person there wanted to be a citizen for a very different reason. 


“I want to be from this country. I love this place I got my family here, so I wanna be from this part of the United States," said De La Rosa. 


“I love the culture of the United States and Americans," said Horta.


Showing that one thing has remained true: “America has really been a land of hope and opportunity and a place for those that are willing to work hard that they may succeed," said Chavez.


While the new citizens received their recognition their proud families watched along.


“It was a wonderful day, just amazing I will remember it always, always," said Horta's wife.

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