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Celebrating citizenship: Around 27 immigrants in Nebraska become American citizens

Other followed emotional ceremony with cultural celebration in South Omaha
Posted at 9:00 PM, Apr 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-11 22:00:04-04

OMAHA, Neb (KMTV) - Having perseverance helped some neighbors in Nebraska walk out these doors as U.S. citizens. Some neighbors are celebrating diversity, and the welcoming of others who reached the American Dream at Metro Community College in South Omaha.

  • Around 27 immigrants become U.S citizens
  • 3,197 people were naturalized in 2023, a 44% increase in the last five years.
  • Video shows naturalization ceremony at MCC

A patriotic ceremony, where neighbors in Nebraska raised their right hand and swore in as citizens.

Ilayali Holguien Barraza moved from Mexico in hope of a better life.

"If i have a chance to become a citizen in the u.s, i will do for my daughter," says Barraza

She's one of twenty-seven people from around the globe who became a citizen during this ceremony.

In 2023, almost 3,200 people were naturalized as citizens, a 44% increase in the last five years.

Barraza says its challenging process.

"You have to learn 100% a new language and it's too difficult, it was difficult for me the language, but its so excited," she says.

Her biggest motivator, her daughter.

"I want her to feel proud of her mom, thats what i truly wanted , and that you can accomplish, sorry, what she sets her mind to," she says.

These immigrants, working hard to meet the citizenship requirements.

"She actually tried her best on the questions, and she even had me test her a few times," says Barraza's daughter.

It was emotional moment for Barraza's and her parents.

"For some parents, our children's accomplishments are ours too, we feel them as ours," says Barraza's mom.

The work toward a better life, powered by dreams,

"Even if you have your goals accomplished, don't hold back," says Barraza.

And inspiring others.

The fact that we're Dispanic doesn't hold us back and shouldn't be a reason to be scared," she says.

Neighbors followed the ceremony through a cultural celebration at Metro Community College's international fair.