Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close
cerem3.jpg
Long Lee, born in Vietnam, is shown during a naturalization ceremony at South Mountain Community College on July 4, 2014 in Phoenix, Ariz. (KTAR Photo/Jim Cross)

PHOENIX -- About 200 foreign-born Phoenix area residents became United States citizens Friday morning at a ceremony at South Mountain Community College.

United States District Judge Roslyn Silver welcomed the new citizens by saying, "You're in. You're now citizens of this great country, the United States of America."

The new Americans come from 54 countries including Mexico.

Long Lee spent his first 21 years in Vietnam and has lived for the past five years in Chandler. Holding an American flag and flashing a big smile, he says Friday and the Fourth of July is all about freedom.

"I'm happy and excited about the opportunity. I spent five years to become a citizen and today is the payoff."

Dana Stallings from Trinidad also became a new citizen but feels like she has been an American before it became official. She's a United States Marine.

"It wasn't an easy process to become a citizen but luckily the military gave me the opportunity."

Tucson also held a naturalization ceremony at Saguaro National Park.

Jim Cross, Reporter

share this story:
Attention KTAR.com Comment Users: We have recently changed our comments boards.
We would like you to be part of the conversation and The Voice of Arizona by logging in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing KTAR (Arizona Sports) account members will need to create a Disqus account or use one of the aforementioned social media logins. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus

World Class Arizona

  • Dignity Health

    World Class People. World Class Company. Excellent care, delivered with compassion, for all in need.
  • Family in Focus

    KTAR spends the week taking a look at the issues a modern Arizona family faces.