Over 100 sworn in as U.S. citizens in Lauderdale Lakes

LAUDERDALE LAKES, FLA. (WSVN) - Over 100 people were sworn in as citizens of the United States during a ceremony in Lauderdale Lakes.

As they sang “America the Beautiful” and waved miniature American flags, newly sworn-in citizens showed patriotism for their new country. “I’m very excited because I become a U.S. citizen,” said Mauricio Marroquin. “This is my dream for a long time, and I did it today.”

One of those celebrating was former Miami Marlins pitcher Aníbal Sánchez. “I feel great,” Sánchez said. “It’s another goal of my life. It’s another dream come true.”

Sánchez led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance, all ready to take on the responsibilities of a citizens and partake in the freedoms as well, such as the right to vote.

“I learned a lot about politics and all that stuff,” Sánchez said. “For me, it’s another opportunity to be a part of the election — for the next one.”

For many, the path to citizenship was long and would take years to traverse. “I’ve been here 16 years, and this is a great accomplishment for me,” said Roy Blair, a Jamaican native.

Blair offered his own advice for those who wish to seek citizenship. “Stay within the law. Do not go above the law. That’s what I do,” he said. “I obey everything it says, and little by little, it all comes through. It’s not going to be an overnight thing, just be patient and stay focused.”

One-hundred and twenty-three people were sworn in, in total.

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