SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Our new citizens come from all over the world, each with a very different reason for choosing to call the United States home.

Everyone in the room is from somewhere different, but today they can all officially call America home.

One couple we spoke to escape their war-ravaged country to find hope and safety in America.

Ban Shakir and her husband Abdul, who is an Iraqi journalist, lived in Syria and Iraq. They lived among the violence that has plagued the region for years. They say it became too dangerous to raise their family.

“Many friends from the newspaper were killed in Iraq,” Abdul said.

They say coming to the U.S. has given their children more opportunities to succeed and it also saved their lives.

“The idea that if you work hard you do everything right, theres goodness for you.”

Others who were granted citizenship on Tuesday tell us they came for more opportunities.

Irshad Raihan and his wife left India to come here for college and decided to stay.

“Years later, citizens! So we’re excited.

The idea of a better live set all of these new citizens out on a journey.

“I feel happy; I feel a new person,” said Ban.

Coincidentally Tuesday was also Constitution Day. Almost 1,000 people from 88 countries received their naturalization certificate today.

Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez addressed the newest U.S. citizens in Sacramento.


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