For a couple of months, Eloisa Hernández de Valle studied very hard to pass the citizenship test to archive her goal.
The 60-year-old’s determination and hard work paid off as she became a U.S. citizen on Sept. 3 during a special naturalization ceremony at the Kings Country Library Hanford Branch.
“She studied very hard to become a citizen,” said her son Juan Valle Jr.
Hernández de Valle was one of the 22 people from 4 countries – Canada (1), India (2), México (14) and Philippines (5) – who took the oath of allegiance to become new U.S. citizens which was administered by Dr. Marshall Lancaster, immigration supervisory services officer of the USCIS Office in Fresno.
“It’s a big step, something impossible for many Mexicans, but it can be done,” said Hernández de Valle, who has been living in the United States for 32 years.
Hernández de Valle, who lives in Avenal, is originally from the state of Guanajuato, México.
Her son said he feels happy that his parents are both now U.S. citizens.
Hernández de Valle’s husband, Juan Valle, became a U.S. citizen last month during the monthly naturalization ceremony at the Fresno Convention Center in Fresno on Aug. 20.
Valle Jr., who was born in this county, said many times people who are born here take for granted being a U.S. citizen, adding he was very proud his parents took that step.
Retired farmworker Amado González, a resident of Huron, had a smile on his face as he received his naturalization certificates and shook hands with Congressman TJ Cox, who was the keynote speaker.
“Thank you so much for inviting me in enjoying you on this very special day,” said Cox. “Today marks the beginning of your journey as American citizens.”
Cox said, “I am so proud of each and every one of you.”
“We have 22 exceptional people from México, Philippines, India and Canada,” he said, adding that millions of people have come to the United States to seek economic opportunities and the freedom that American citizens enjoy.
“We are a nation of opportunity,” Cox said, adding that “today they were united by our diversity. Look at the faces in this room. We are not divided.”
“Our nation is enriched when people of different backgrounds and experiences live and work, side by side,” Cox said, whose parents were also immigrants. His father was from China and his mother from the Philippines.
González, a Mexican national, said he was “very happy” to be a U.S citizen.
“Very proud. Who thought that at his age he would become a citizen,” said Celia Rodriguez, daughter of Amado González about her father. “But it’s something to look up for his kids.”
González and his wife, Elena Aguilar de González, have seven children.
His wife Elena is not a citizen yet, but she is planning to submit her citizenship papers to start the process.
“I feel very happy and proud to see that my husband is already a citizen,” said Elena Aguilar de González.