Eighty people sworn in as American citizens
Indiana has 82 new American citizens today. They all took the oath Thursday morning at Shortridge Magnet School in Indianapolis. Judge Jane Magnus Stinson officiated the program.
Eighty-two people from 36 countries have a lot to celebrate. Cindy Arayaleal immigrated from Costa Rica.
"It is a very exciting day. I have been waiting for this for three years," she said.
"What brought you here?" Eyewitness News asked.
"The American dream," she said.
An 18-year-old naturalized citizen from Russia led the pledge. She stood shoulder to shoulder with immigrants from India, Costa Rica and Venezuela.
Cindy Arayaleal and Giselle Trujillo from Venezuela talked about what it meant to become an American citizen.
"For me it means a lot. Like now, I belong to this place and I am very grateful and very excited about this day," Arayaleal said. Trujillo quickly added, "For me it means peace."
Indiana Senator Dan Coats had a great perspective on the ceremony from seat in the front row, which he now can take back to Washington for the immigration debate to come.
"We have to figure out something out here in terms of how you become a legal citizen and who qualifies and who should be in the front of the line and who should be in the back of the line," said Coats.
Sai Devarapalli elaborated on his American dream.
"I'm a physician by trade. I came here for better opportunity and to realize my dream. I dreamed to be a cardiologist. It took me a long way and hard work and this country made me realize this dream," he said.
Devarapalli immigrated from India in 1998. He is very aware of the immigration debate that is currently taking place in his new homeland.
"I stand in line to come in and it took me so many years to do it. Whoever comes in the right way, I am for it," he said.
They see it as an opportunity of a lifetime.
We are a nation of immigrants who at one time or another all need to be reminded of what it was like for our forefathers on the day they became American citizens. From today's festivities, it was apparent that it was a day filled with joy.
The youngest person to take the oath today was 18. The oldest range in age from their sixties to seventies.
All the new citizens received a copy of the Constitution, an American flag and a certificate of citizenship.