YAKIMA, WA - Congratulations are in order for 23 people in Yakima who became U.S. citizens.
"I feel very excited, very happy," said Annette Ochoa, who became a U.S. citizen on Wednesday.
The ceremony brought together people from 10 different countries and joined them as one.
"How many other places in the world where 10 countries can be represented all at the same place, where 10 different countries stand up, take the oath and sit down as one country? I think it's pretty special," said John West, Supervisory Immigration Services Officer.
Ochoa says the journey leading up to this moment was long but worth it. "Being a U.S. citizen now, it opens the door to a lot of jobs and a lot better opportunity."
She also says it's a moment full of happiness and even tears of joy.
"I think it's just a very hard journey to get here. It's a very hard journey, and every immigrant that comes to the United States their dream is to become a U.S. citizen and the fact that I have that opportunity and I finally did it, it's very rewarding, it's an honor."
Like many who also became citizens, Ochoa says she did this for her family.
"For my parents who helped me come here for a better future, they brought me here so that I had the opportunity to have a better education, have a better life."
Like Ochoa, 7,500 people across the country became U.S. citizens this week.
Several ceremonies will be taking place until July 5th in different cities, culminating a week of independence.