Gathered at the former home of Thomas Jefferson in Charlottesville, Virginia, people from 39 countries took part in a naturalisation ceremony to became citizens of the United States on July 4.
The Monticello estate hosts the oldest such ceremony outside of a US courtroom. Jefferson was the third US President and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence.
At the ceremony, one of America’s newest citizens, an Iraqi-born man, told euronews: “This 4th of July 2014 is the day of my freedom. It is the day which ends all my sadness.”
Euronews correspondent Stefan Grobe reported from Charlottesville: “At a time when America is struggling to fix its broken immigration laws, this group of new citizens has finally succeeded. For them, a dream has come true that they have been waiting for many, many years.”
President Barack Obama has been pushing for wide-reaching reform that would grant citizenship to millions of undocumented immigrants in the US. The planned legislation has been blocked by Congress.