MACON, Georgia (41 NBC/WMGT) - In front of family, friends, and a federal judge, 39 people from 26 different countries swore their allegiance to the United States of America.
"I feel really excited and happy, and I cannot explain," Ana Ruiz tries to explain. "I feel butterflies in my stomach!"
Ruiz moved to the U.S. eight years ago from Mexico City. Tuesday is the first time she and the other 38 are able to say the Pledge of Allegiance as legal U.S. citizens.
"I want to feel like really part of this country," Ruiz says. I love living here, I love this country."
Drew Patel has been living in Watkinsville nearly 10 years with his family. He moved to the states from the U.K. He says it has been a long, hard, and surprisingly expensive road to get to today.
"It is hard. But well worth it. It's worth becoming a citizen...It's an honor. It's a happy occasion. I feel really proud of myself to become a citizen of America," Patel said.
The ceremony was presided over by Judge Marc Treadwell.