SCRANTON, Pa. -- A few dozen people became American citizens on Friday at a naturalization ceremony in Scranton.
At a time when immigration is such a hot-button issue, the new Americans say it makes them take their citizenship even more seriously.
This was a moment Anthony Ozcui has been waiting for his entire life. He was brought to the U.S. from Cuba as an infant.
"I was days old when they got me here, as soon as I broke fever they wrapped me up in a blanket and took me out of the country as quickly as possible," said Ozcui.
Ozcui was picked to speak to his class of newly minted Americans at the federal courthouse in Scranton, 40 people representing 21 different countries.
They took the oath of citizenship at an interesting time for American immigration, a time when the Trump administration's immigration policies have divided much of the country.
"My advice to somebody who wants to come to this country is to do it the right way, to follow the processes and procedures to protect not only themselves but people who are a part of this country," Ozcui advised.
Still, Ozcui says America's history as a haven for immigrants is something to celebrate.
For many in this group, citizenship has taken years and a lot of work.
Jose Deras came here from El Salvador 18 years ago.
"Everyone has different ideologies, but we have to work all together for liberty," Deras said.
The new citizens left with a certificate and some souvenir American flags and a new title that won't be taken for granted.