DENVER (CBS4) – Denver city leaders officially welcomed 80 brand new citizens to the United States on Thursday.
Immigrants from more than 40 different countries took part in a naturalization ceremony at the Denver Central Library in the morning.
Among them was Xiaochang Duan, who is originally from China and has been working to become an American citizen since 2006.
“It’s a huge day for me. I have been waiting for this day for forever,” said Duan, who works for Google in their Boulder office. “It’s a dream come true.”
The new Americans all took the oath of allegiance and then received their certificates of U.S. citizenship.
“You kept going because you believe in the promise of the United States of America,” said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, referring to the various hardships the immigrants faced in their efforts to change countries.
“With open arms on behalf of the people of this great city, I say welcome.”
PHOTO GALLERY: Naturalization Ceremony At Denver Library
Vicente Murillo Vargas, who grew up in Mexico, said words don’t describe how grateful he is to now be an American after a 5-year wait.
“My wife is from here. My kids are from here. I live here and work here, I feel like this is where I belong. I love this country and I just want to be a good citizen and be a good person every day and serve this country that has given me so much,” he said.
Although it admittedly wasn’t always a smooth process for Eoan, he called his journey “amazing.”
“Life has an up and down and that’s what I teach my kid,” he said.
“One thing to remember is do not give up.”