HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- It was the beginning of a new, life-changing chapter for more than 2,000 people who became U.S. citizens.
Those new citizens raised their hands to take the oath of citizenship Wednesday morning on the north side at the M.O. Campbell Education Center, surrounded by family and friends. For many of them, their citizenship is a life-long dream.
"I really wanted to vote, really wanted to cooperate with the people of the United States, to have a voice here, and I came here for freedom," said Albert Mina, who is originally from Colombia.
Hailing from native countries ranging from Nigeria to El Salvador, one new citizen said she never had any doubt that the U.S. was the best place to pursue her dreams.
"I just went back to El Salvador last month, and saw the huge difference after being here for 5 or 6 years," said Esther Flores. "I even told my mom, 'I'm so glad you brought us here to this country."
The League of Women Voters was also on hand to immediately register new citizens to vote.
More than 2,000 people become U.S. citizens on Naturalization Day