On Wednesday morning, October 21, at Golden Hall in the San Diego Concourse, 590 people were sworn in as U.S. citizens; among them were 17 military servicemen. The ceremony began at 8 a.m. and lasted for nearly two hours. Sixty-seven countries were represented and approximately 100 people were in attendance.
Thai Yin came to the United States with his family when he was three years old. They were refugees from Cambodia. He described the ceremony as “…overwhelming.” After viewing a recorded video of Barack Obama and listening to various members of the community speak, the 25-year-old Yin likened the experience to a graduation.
“It feels like a new chapter in your life now that you can vote and travel and have access to government programs and participate in the political process. The most exciting is the ability to vote because you have a say in where your tax dollars go and who you have representing you,” added Yin.
As the new citizens exited the ceremony, they were greeted by people from two informational booths — one Democratic, the other Republican.