LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Dozens of children officially became American citizens in downtown Los Angeles Thursday on Citizenship Day.

“They’re getting their certificate of citizenship, which as we know, opens up their lives to all the glories of being an American citizen,” said Phyllis Coven, the district director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

“They can vote, they can serve on juries, they’re full members of our society,” she added.

Jennifer Ohn adopted her daughter from South Korea two years ago. The youngster just received her certificate.

“She’s officially ours, legally ours, and a citizen now, she’s American, she’s our family,” said Ohn.

A young girl, originally from Iran, became a citizen through her mother.

“I’m a U.S. citizen now! Yay!” she said.

Iran was among the countries with the most children receiving certificates. Mexico, China, the Philippines and El Salvador were also well-represented.

Kamal Ged Bandesha, of India, became naturalized a year ago and his two boys are now U.S. citizens.

“We are very excited about this day. It’s a great achievement to become an American citizen,” he said.


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