35 swear allegiance, become American citizens

Citizenship candidates hail from 11 countries


ORLANDO, Fla. – Thirty-five people became America's newest citizens on Wednesday after taking the Oath of Allegiance at a Disney property.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas delivered the oath during the League of United Latin American Citizens' National Conference at Disney's Coronado Springs Convention Center.

The citizenship candidates hail from 17 countries, including Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Poland, St. Lucia, Thailand, United Kingdom, Venezuela and Vietnam.

Ariana Huidobro went to support his mother, Patricia Cruz.

"It's really encouraging. She's been studying for months," she said.

Eight years ago, Cruz moved from Lima, Peru, to give her children a better life. On Wednesday, Cruz, a maintenance worker at the University of Central Florida, was one of the country's newest citizens.

"I'm very, very excited," she said.

Huidobro said she helped her mom prepare for the citizenship exam.

"I've never seen my mom accomplish something so big," she said.

Juan Lugo said he became a citizen for his newborn daughter.

"It's like a big step that I made, and I feel really happy," he said.

One thousand people a month are naturalized in Orlando alone, according to the organization that oversees legal immigration.

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