Dozens of young people become U.S. citizens in DeKalb County - CBS46 News

Dozens of young people become U.S. citizens in DeKalb County

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67 teenagers and young adults from 40 different countries were in one room Saturday morning to become U.S. citizens. It was a long time coming for 20-year old Pierina Rodriguez, who came to the U.S. from Peru when she was four.

"It's a huge accomplishment," she said. "Not only for me but my mom as well."

The youths automatically became U.S. citizens when their parents did but they still had to be sworn in to make it official.

They stood for the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance before watching several videos. And we've learned, this is the very first youth ceremony in Atlanta to see President Donald Trump's new welcome video.

Alex Rumyantsev said his wife won the green card lottery in Russia six years ago and moved to Atlanta. They applied for U.S. citizenship last year and today, their 14-year-old daughter Patrisiya received her certificate.

"It means a lot to me because I always wanted to move away from my birth country to this country to have a good life," said Patrisiya.

"I'm very happy and proud of her," Alex said.

The process to citizenship was relatively simple for most of the immigrants CBS46 spoke with, though we know that's not the case for everyone. At a time when DACA is one of the hot topics in Washington, it was also on the minds of some at the ceremony.

"I was lucky enough that through my mom being a citizen, I get citizenship, but not everyone has that privilege," Rodriguez said.

Kely Thackruy, who became a U.S. citizen last year said she believes U.S. citizenship is a privilege, not a right, though she said children should have it a little easier.

"If they are kids and they come with their parents, they should have the legal right. If they come as an adult, they should go through all the processes."

Sunday begins Citizenship Week in the U.S.

CBS46 has learned that USCIS will welcome more than 30 thousand new citizens during that week.

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