More than 100 people in South Florida become US citizens

Ceremony held in Fort Lauderdale for people from 34 countries

By Parker Branton - Reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - More than 100 immigrants who came to the United States are now officially citizens.

A ceremony was held Friday morning in Fort Lauderdale for the new citizens, who are collectively from 34 countries.

Among the crowd of people inside the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services building was a man from Honduras who was wearing an American flag jacket.

"I'm just happy to be American," he said.  

Timetaeo Villanueva moved to South Florida in 1989 and spent many years working in construction. He now does maintenance for Atrium Apartments in Hollywood. 

But it was the work he was doing at home the last seven years that he said has now changed his life forever.

"We work, we pay taxes and this is my gratification," Villanueva said. 
 
"I was in the room and had tears in my eyes," Drew Atria said. 

Atria hired Villanueva years ago. Atria and his management team cheered Villanueva on during the rigorous process.

"I'm very proud of America, welcoming in a good man here and a lot of other friends that just became Americans," another friend of Villanueva's said. 

Villanueva was among 138 other people who also became U.S. citizens Friday.

With stars and stripes in one hand and a certified citizenship document in the other, the man from Honduras said he is proud to be American.

"I'm grateful, and now I have a bigger responsibility to perform well in society," he said. 


 

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