BATON ROUGE, LA (WVLA) — Reciting the national anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance may be routine for some Americans, but for these citizens, it's their very first time.
"Of all the duties of a federal judge...this is the happiest occasion," said The Honorable Brian A. Jackson, Chief Judge.
The middle district of Louisiana held their naturalization ceremony Thursday, admitting new citizens into the United States.
"The in-court ceremonies offer the opportunity to underscore, especially to the new citizens, the importance of the federal
government [and] the benefits of citizenship," added Jackson.
Criss Esquival is one of those new citizens who sees the benefits first hand.
"I believe this is my country now, and its very important to be an American citizen to make my dream come true."
But Before Esquival or any of the new citizens became a part of the American dream,
they had to endure a process. They undergo exams, paperwork, and it takes five years at minimum.
"Its a long process, but its very important to do it because that way you understand to be an American, said Esquival."
"A lot of people begin the process, and because it is such a rigorous process, they don't complete [it.] So, these folks that we
naturalized today were very, very determined to become U.S. Citizens," said Jackson.
Some of which, wouldn't have it any other way.
Esquival added, "nothing is easy in life, like nothing is easy in America. Everything you want, you've got to work hard if you want it, and i did. It was worth every minute of it."
With 40 names, and 40 certificates, Louisiana welcomed 40 new citizens of The United States of America.
"I feel thankful to God," smiled Esquival.