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200 immigrants become legal U.S. citizens

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AVONDALE, Ariz. -

The day they become U.S. citizens is always a proud day for immigrants. But with a new immigration reform plan on the horizon, today's ceremonies held special meaning.

This is the day 200 new U.S. citizens have waited years to see.

"You have to be at least five years a resident to be a U.S. citizen," says Beateriz Figueroa, who's lived here for 8 years.

Most of the people gathered in Avondale have been in the country much longer than that, and worked hard to get where they are today

You might expect some are bitter hearing the president's announcement of an immigration reform proposal, creating a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. But you'd be wrong.

"Give them a chance, they're already here, give them a chance, help them to go through the process," says Tshigik Kabash, who's lived here for 12 years. "We need them in this country."

These newly sworn citizens feel for the plight of deported immigrants.

"You have family, you have friends, you know one day they can just come and tell you 'hey you've got to go,'" says Kabash.

Having worn an immigrant's shoes, these citizens realize what it means to be an American.

"Where you can express your opinion, where you can try to achieve anything you want and nobody stop you."

There were two ceremonies to swear in new U.S. citizens Wednesday in Avondale.

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