PHOENIX - It’s been months, years, and for some a decade in the making.
Close to 50 people from 26 countries and cultures became U.S. citizens Tuesday morning at the All Saints’ Episcopal Day School in Phoenix.
Rosario Yepez came to the United States from Mexico with her husband in the 1980’s. While her husband became a citizen shortly after, Yepez had a harder time.
"She tried applying for citizenship about ten years ago. But something happened along the way that she wasn't able to proceed with it. So she almost gave up trying to do it again,” said Yepez’s daughter Rocio.
Through a program in her hometown of Yuma, Arizona, Yepez was able to complete all the paperwork, interviews and testing required to pass and gain citizenship. On Tuesday, all her hard work paid off when she heard her name called.
“We are all so proud of her. It’s been a long time coming,” said Yepez.
While Yepez had trouble with her documentation, others at the ceremony found the process to citizenship fair and quick.
“I don't think it was hard. It was just taking the time to do it. I mean, the whole process was less than three months. So it's taking the time and doing it,” said Pricilia Hernandez.
Hernandez’s family came to the U.S. on a green card when she was a little girl. Since then, she’s been renewing her green card and decided it was time to move forward.
“It costs a bit more to become a U.S. citizen then to renew your green card. But I’m a high school teacher and feel it’s important to set an example for my students. Many of them come from the same background as me. To be able to set an example and inspire them to get an education and follow the steps to becoming a citizen is priceless,” said Hernandez.
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