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Citizen U.S.A.

Aired July 3, 2011 - 16:00   ET


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, this is your newest citizen. He just passed his citizenship, and he is going to be an American.



OBAMA: - to the United States of America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: to the Republic.

OBAMA: - for which it stands

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: - one nation, under god -

OBAMA: - indivisible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And with liberty and justice for all. Woo!


OBAMA: I want your vote!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I pledge of allegiance, I pledge of allegiance to the flag to the flag of the United States of America, America -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Raise your right hand. I hereby declare.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For a long, long time, I wait for this day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the greatest day in my life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) best days of my life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would rank today as my very top of the line on my best days of my life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love this country to death. God Bless America!

OBAMA: (INAUDIBLE) to call you a fellow citizen of the United States of America. This is now your country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So help me god.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So help me god.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Eight years ago my husband was one of millions of immigrants who came to America legally. Since he married me, and I was born in the USA, he had no problems getting a green card.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a green card. This is it. This is going the change my whole life. I drink to the greatest country on earth.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was happy as a resident alien until one day - born in the USA, I was -

Daddy wasn't - born in the USA."

Daddy wasn't born in the USA, Thomas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have to become a citizen, because I can't be a foreigner my own family.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Suddenly, he realized he really had to become an American. So he started down the path to citizenship. In order to become an American, he must be a permanent resident for three to five years. Be able to read, write, and speak English.

You guys think daddy know how to speak English?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you ever practiced polygamy?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Be a person of good moral character.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is the father of our country? What is the one right for U.S. citizens?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pass a civics test.

(on camera): Isn't that nice? You're all learning your American history together.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So help me god.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): And take an oath of allegiance to the United States of America. After my husband went through this process, something really changed in him. He felt like he really belonged to this country.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And he was no longer a foreigner in his own family.

(on camera): How many states are there?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): His experience inspired me to set out on a road trip across America to all 50 states to experience the moment new citizens take their oath.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The United States of America.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To find out why so many people are willing to renounce their birth country and swear allegiance to the United States of America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This land is your land, this land is my land from California to the New York islands, from the redwood forests to the gulf stream waters. This land was made for you and me.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (on camera): Why did you choose to become an American?

WALTER DRATNER, POLAND: Something incredible happened in this country. When Obama become president, I said this country came a long way, and there is no country that have such a full democracy like United States. When a black poor person can become a president, I said this is it. I'm not going nowhere.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The constitution and the laws.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The constitution and the laws.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: - of the United States of America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: - of the United States of America.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): When was the first time you actually felt like an American?

DRATNER: There was a day when I - when my dream, usually dream in old native language, you know. And maybe 10 years, 15 years we wake up in middle of the night and said to yourself, wow, this is different. I'm dreaming actually in English.

Guys, you know, know where I'm going to today? I'm running to city hall to register so I can vote.

SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R), IOWA: Today you have the opportunity to vote, but you also have that opportunity to run for office. I don't know about all 50 states, but I know about national office. I believe the only office you can't run for is president of the United States. And I'm not encouraging any of you to run against me for the United States Senate, but you can do that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This land is your land. This land is my land, from California to the New York Islands, from the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters. This land was made for you and me. ANDREW GRINBERG, RUSSIA: In America, they drive for removing barriers and discrimination of deaf individuals. We are given an equal opportunity.

ELENA GRIBERG, RUSSIA: In Russia, it's an embarrassment. I could not show people in public that I was deaf. I had to keep it hidden. I love it that here in America, I am in America, and I'm so proud to be deaf. I am who I am. And I love it. Being deaf is great. I'm afraid of nothing.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For citizenship, please stand. Raise your right hand.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're the last person I would expect to find in the Bible belt.

ARIJ HAMAD, JORDAN: I love Memphis. I love everything about it. I love the streets, the houses, the people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you hereby declare -

HAMAD: There is a church on almost every corner, but at the same time, I think we have like three or four mosques, and they're building more. And they're building a big community center. We have an Islamic school. I see here people from many different backgrounds, many different religions. This country will accept you, no matter where you're from.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you say you're from Jordan?

HAMAD: Yes. Amman.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Amman, what are you going to do with your newfound citizenship?

HAMAD: First I'm going to get a passport, an American passport.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And where are you going to go?

HAMAD: Where am I going to go? Where am I going to go? I want to go to Alaska. Can you believe it? I can't go to Alaska on a cruise unless I have an American citizenship.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: God bless America, land that I love. Stand beside her and guide her through the night with the light from above, from the mountains - ISHAK, YEMEN: My name is Ishak Rubinstein (ph). I was born to a Jewish family in Yemen.

ABDALIA: My name is Abdalia and I'm from Somalia.

GABBY: My name is Gabby Sheldon and I'm from Panama.

LASZLONE EDIT FAZEKAS: Hello, I'm Laszlone Edit Fazekas and I am from Hungary. I'm very grateful to the country. Thank you very much. God bless America.

My husband and I, we fled the communist country of Hungary. It's not that it was very bad living under communist government. But now that we know how different another life, another side is, it was very bad.

Under communist government, you had one choice, to get a Russian-made car. You had to pay half of it up-front, and then a quarter. You haven't even had a chance to pick for a color. You hated a yellow car, but by the time you're supposed to pick up your car, if there was only a yellow car on the lot, you had to take it, otherwise your number thrown back for three years again.

So for the rest of your life you saved up your money for a car and you hated a yellow car, but you're going to have to drive a yellow car because that was the only car available.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh beautiful, oh spacious skies, for amber waves of grain for purple mountains, it's majesty above the fruited plain . America, America, god shed his grace on thee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you agree, say I do.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So where are you from?

MOHAMMED: I'm from Iraq. And all my friends here is from Iraq.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So how did all of you Iraqis find each other in Nebraska?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We all become like most people that come. We used to live in refugee camp.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like from 1991. Yes, that's where we know each other.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And how did you end up in Nebraska?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know. But - UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The immigration. The immigration is saying for say for example, 100 people go to Nebraska, 100 people go for Washington state. 100 people go into New York. And they divide them before they come into the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you like most about America?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The color here, freedom. That's what I like more about America is the freedom. Because everybody, like all around the world, they're looking for their freedom. And a lot of people, they can't find it.

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FMR. U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: This is what i got. This is my mother. My name isn't Madeline Albright at all. It's Maria Jana Korbelova, and my brother and my sister. And they gave us this at Ellis Island.

My father asked for political asylum. And we lived in London during World War II. And the British were very kind to us. And then we came to the United States in 1948. And my father used to describe the real difference. He said when we were in England, people couldn't have been nicer. They said, you know, your country has been taken over by a terrible dictator. You're welcome here. What can we do to help you, but when are you going home?

When we came to the United States, people were very, very nice and they said your country has been taken over by a terrible system, and you're welcome here. What can we do to help you, and when will you become a citizen?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Certificate covers $10, come and get it. Certificate covers, $10.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: $10, come on, come on, come on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you ever committed a crime or offense for which you were not arrested?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you ever smuggled anyone into the United States?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you now or have you ever been a member of a communist party?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I'm not a commie.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you ever bought or sold marijuana or speed?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you ever been a habitual drunkard?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you ever been confined as patient in a mental institution?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you ever sold your body for money? Prostitution?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Prostitution? Really? Who is involved in prostitution?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your honor, may I present to you 3,340 persons having duly filed an application for naturalization.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: - without any mental reservation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Without any mental reservation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Or purpose of evasion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or purpose of evasion.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So help me god.

HARINDERJIT AHLUWALIA, INDIA: I really had a dream in the world to go to the United States. It was on my, what do you call, dream to go to and settle in America.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And what do you do for work?

AHLUWALIA: I'm - I start my business here. I have a business here. I have a couple of stores.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What kind of store?

AHLUWALIA: I have a - I don't want to tell. It's a tobacco store, a cigarette store like a convenience store, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And a lot of people come to America from countries where you're not even allowed to smoke.

AHLUWALIA: Yes, in my religion (INAUDIBLE) tobacco restriction.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But now you sell tobacco.

AHLUWALIA: I have to do something. Otherwise, I have to work somewhere. I'm a businessman so I open that. So I am happy with that business.


AHLUWALIA: Only in America. I can't do this kind of business in my country.

What is your favorite thing about America?

MARIA HAYES, PHILIPPINES: My favorite thing about America is the 911. I love it. Because you just dial the number and then they come right away for your rescue.

TATSIANA NEUDAKH, RUSSIA: I like customer service. TATIANA KORDIC, BELARUS: I love Disney World.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Aloha. Welcome to Honolulu.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is the best part of this country?

AEREE KIM, KOREA: The best part about this country is it's giving me an opportunity to go to school, to buy a house. I mean, if I lived in Korea, I couldn't do that because you would have to have all the money up-front. Now I have student loans up to my eyeballs and a mortgage note. But if I lived in Korea I probably wouldn't be able to afford a house.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So debt? Debt is the best part about America.

KIM: No, that's probably the worst part of my life. Nobody wants to have debt. But that debt has given me stuff.

SIVAN HOGAN, ISRAEL: In this world, we take the best year of your life, 18 to 21, you have to go to the Army.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Girls included?

HOGAN: Girls included. And you know you have to serve your country.

ABDUL ALJAMAL, JORDAN: In Jordan, there are checkpoints. So if you go out at night, you have a pretty good chance you're going to be stopped and questioned about from where are you coming, where are you going, what are you doing. And in a way that you feel like you're a suspect.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you like most about America?

SHAQ, AFGHANISTAN: Freedom. You can do whatever you like.



SAM: You can take her hand and shake and kiss on the street. Nobody asking you what the hell are you doing. But if this happened in our country, you know, like everybody is going to kick your ass over there.

SHAQ: Especially if you tell everybody hi, honey, hi sweetie. (INAUDIBLE) If our country they're going to chop you off.

HOSSEIN ALIZADEH, IRAN: I stay here because I'm a gay man. I cannot go back to Iran because of my sexual orientation. And I feel now that I'm walking here and I see people from different races, backgrounds, heterosexual, homosexual are walking together, without fear, is the most beautiful thing that most people don't appreciate what a great blessing it is.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Against all enemies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Against all enemies.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Foreign and domestic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Foreign and domestic.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) and allegiance to the same.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) and allegiance to the same.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why would you join the military of a country that you weren't born in?

RAYMOND FAIRWEATHER, JAMAICA: Because it's the best military in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What would the world be without the U.S. military?

FAIRWEATHER: I think lost in chaos.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congratulations. You are all U.S. citizens.

Proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Love you, dear. Love you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who gave that life to me, and I gladly stand up because there isn't no doubt I love this land.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: North Americans join their new American soldiers.


HEINZ ALFRED KISSINGER, BORN IN GERMANY: The last thing I expected when I came here is that I would wind up secretary of state. I had to work in a shaving brush factory because we didn't have enormous resources. From the age of 16. And then I was drafted into the Army. And then through a series of circumstances, very few of which I could possibly have planned, I wound up as secretary of state. It could happen only in America that somebody, a foreign born with a foreign accent would emerge as secretary of state in one of the most complex and in some way tragic periods of American history at the end of the Vietnam war. In the middle of the Watergate crisis. And to go through all the detail through every step would take more time than you have for your film.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is this rumor that your younger brother speaks perfect English.

KISSINGER: It's true. He speaks without an accent, anyway. And he claims that it's because he is the Kissinger who listens.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Slovenia. DUSANKA WELLS, SLOVENIA: I was 15 years old when I started working in a big factory. I was told I can't do much with my life. I love the free agency that comes being in America. The free agency to me means that nobody tells me what to do and what I can be and what I can become. I can make my own choices, and I don't have anybody telling me you're not good enough.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there anything about America that you just haven't gotten used to?

WELLS: I guess what I'll never get used to, it's people complaining constantly about something. I know that things are, you know, a little harder right now. But just the people constantly complaining.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From sea to shining sea and hold up high our flag. So cheer for America. Hip hooray, let's hear it for America, hip hooray.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hereby declare under oath that I absolutely and entirely renounce -

ZANETA MAHR-BATUZ, SLOVAKIA: I came here. I spoke no English, and I had very bad education from Slovakia. And I came here, and everything I wanted happened. I decided to come as au pair. And I work in these beautiful homes. And later on I cleaned those homes. I was a cleaning lady. And then in the end, I sold a home because I became a real estate agent, and I worked for a great agency, and they help me to become who I became. And it couldn't happen anywhere else. Only in America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I call or name the country from which you come, please stand and remain standing. Albania. Bangladesh. Barbados. Brazil. Burma. Morocco. Portugal.

ROY CORREIA, PORTUGAL: I came to a country with nothing. Our family came with nothing. We worked at it. And I bought a home, raised a family here. Kind of the American dream, I guess. Most people, I have a dog and a cat.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please raise your right hand.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you do for work?

CORREIA: I work for Ashland, Massachusetts. A small little community. And I'm in charge of the water division. I worked my way up. And I make sure the water is clean, pure, people can drink it. I make sure that we have no problems with it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What was the water like in Portugal?

CORREIA: Well, I tell you, if you grabbed a jug and you walked a half mile down the river, you would get it right out of the side of the mountain. Couldn't analyze it, and you had to go grab it every day, four or five times a day. This country takes everything for granted because it's just there. If you go to countries like where I'm from, the simplest things aren't there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congratulations, my fellow Americans, my fellow intentional Americans.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are you going to do to celebrate becoming a citizen?

CORREIA: I'm going to go home and I'm going to buy myself a flag for my house. That's another dream I've had. Putting an American flag on my front door. That's the first thing I'm going to do. That's how I'm going to celebrate. I'm going to put a flag on my door. A U.S. flag on a pole. Now I can. That's how I'm going to celebrate it.


HILE CORRI, ALBANIA: In my country where the food compared to here, it's unbelievable. I grow up entire my life, we eat just corn, bread -- nothing else.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd be of true faith.

CROWD: I'd be of true faith.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So what is your favorite food now?

CORRI: Oh, you cannot imagine here. Here is everything like in paradise. You know? American food or you can eat China food, or Italian food, or whatever you wanted, you can have it, because it's America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God bless America!

CORRI: I can tell all of my American people, they have to grow up and to say God bless America, because this country, it's unique in the earth for everything.


CORRI: Thank you. God bless America. Thank you very much.

RITA MILLER, INDONESIA: Here is amazing, because I can do stuff, as normal people can do.


MILLER: Like driving, go to work.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why couldn't you drive in Indonesia?

MILLER: Because they don't have equipment for small people. They fix my pedal, the brake and the gas and they put the seat up high. America is good for disabled people. I'm free here. Bye!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How did you pick Mississippi? NILDA GUERRA, CUBA: School, free scholarship to go to law school.

Twenty-three different countries were represented in the ceremony today. And we're just coming to different places and settling down, and not running to the big cities.


GUERRA: It's nice to start in a new place, to start a family and bring what you have from your culture into the existing culture, kind of part of what being an American is all about.

REV. LARRY MAUGH, FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH: Merciful God, as we invoke your name today and your presence with us, we know it is to go from this place back into the routines and the rhythms of our lives that you go with each of us, oh God. In Jesus' name, amen.

CHOIR (singing): God bless America, land that I love stand beside her and guide her through the night with the light from above, from the mountain to the prairies to the ocean white with foam, God, God, God, God, God, God bless America, my --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On behalf of the United States.

CROWD: On behalf of the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When required by law.

CROWD: When required by law.

SAEH AL-AMEEN, LEBANON: Being an American gave me the right to practice any religion I want.

On this block in Dearborn, Michigan, you can see two churches on one side, the mosque in the middle, and two churches from the other side. And it's the tolerance that the United States has for everybody, for all religions, that built this massive and this beautiful country. And it is that lack of -- it is the lack of that tolerance, if it happens, that could destroy this country.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're a missionary monk here in Utah?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why did you come to America?

INDHAWIWATDHANA: Because I came over here to teach the Buddhist teaching and Buddha teaching and meditation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And why do you want to stay in America?

INDHAWIWATDHANA: Oh, because I love America.

(MUSIC) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Raise your right hand. Your right hand.



GHINA ABUL-KHOUDOUD, LEBANON: When you come to the United States, you know, if you work hard and full-heartedly, you'll reach wherever you want. That's what made us come here. And that's why we're raising our kids here.

In Lebanon, there is a lot of politics. If you know somebody, you can be, you know? Even if you don't have the right qualifications, you'll get your spot. But here in the United States, if you don't know anybody, it's your work, hard work you will be there.

HASSAN ABUL-KHOUDOUD, LEBANON: A lot of places you can really work really hard. A lot of places you can die working hard and you never get anywhere. But in the United States, most of the time, majority of the time, the hard work pays off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): It's a whole lot of country, Texas, is, a whole lot of country, Texas is, it's rich in bucks and pickup trucks, it's a whole lot of country, Texas is yahoo!


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why is this an important day?

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Because my daddy's becoming a citizen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How did you come to America?

JAVIER CABRERA, MEXICO: Swimming, crossing the border.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why did you swim across the border to get here?

J. CABRERA: Because you got to do. You got to do what you got to do to get over here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But why did you do it?

J. CABRERA: To better opportunities.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And did you find those better opportunities?

J. CABRERA: We did.

ISMENIA CABRERA, MEXICO: I crossed the border with no papers, too.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you met your husband here? Yes? How did you meet your husband?

I. CABRERA: In a restaurant. He was working. I met him there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So after you came here illegally, how did you get to stay?

J. CABRERA: Well, they have this amnesty around '87. And anybody that was here before '81 qualified to be a resident. So, I become a resident around '87.

I. CABRERA: You know, we came here to help this country, not to become criminals, to do nothing bad. We came here to help everybody and to become a good human being. Wherever you go, you'll be accepted if you are a good human being.

ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE HUFFINGTON POST: It's not a country based on hierarchies the way Europe is. In England, for example, there is still much more of a class system, much more of a question about where were you born. Not so here. The sense that you can be an immigrant who wasn't born here and yet have a voice in this country, be able to question, to criticize, you know, that very American spirit of dissent. And all this have been just critical in my own evolution.




RAWAN BARGHOUT, JORDAN: The most thing I like about America is the school bus stop and every car behind and front of the school bus stop. And it's safe for my kids.

LIDA WISNER, SOUTH AFRICA: It's not having all these rights, freedom speech, freedom of this. For me, it's to know I can take my family around the block for a walk in the stroller and I don't have to be worried about being hijacked. Sometimes you forget that every day is a blessing. You woke up, and it's a gift.

HAZEM TAEE, IRAQ: I remember it was about a month and a half from my arrival, and I saw a person walking his dog. And the dog had kind of socks on his feet. And I was wondering, why would he put socks on a dog's feet? And he said the pavement is hot. I said, wow, really?

They care about animals to that degree, and even their feelings. Humans are not treated like that in Iraq. Many people would wish to be even an animal in the United States.

DAKOTA CHORAL UNION (singing): Proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free, and I won't forget the ones who died who gave that right to me, and I gladly stand up, next to you and defend her still today, because there ain't no doubt I love this land.

RUBY & ROBIN, CHINA: We're twins.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don't get Chinese twins a lot.

RUBY & ROBIN: No. I think we're the only Chinese twins I know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right? Oh, being in China you can't even have more than one kid.

RUBY & ROBIN: Yes. Because in China, there is a one child policy. If you have more than one kid, they make you pay really high taxes or you adopt them out or you throw them in the garbage can, do something to the baby. It's like our (INAUDIBLE) all controlling, it's like, you know, all powerful.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So how could you guys be teenagers in China?

RUBY & ROBIN: No social life. They don't let you go on Facebook or like Google or like YouTube, because they don't want you to, like, know all of America. They have their own Facebook for Chinese people. But I heard that it's really lame. We're pretty lucky to be here.

Yes. I'm happy I'm here today to celebrate.


PIMPREYA JUNE GEORGE, THAILAND: I cannot do this in Thailand, if I'm still in Thailand. You know, I own a school, and I create an app for Apple Store. So why not become American?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is your -- tell me about your app.

GEORGE: It's called Intro to Math. It teaches the children about numbers and how to count the numbers and everything. We got an e-mail from Steve Jobs one night at 3:00 a.m. in the morning. He decided to e-mail us about our apps. And he encouraged us to keep dreaming -- which is not dreaming anymore. My dream has come true.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are now citizens of the United States.


NARAYANAN & VAITI ARUNACHAIAM, PH.D., INDIA: This is the only country where you can come with $100 in your pocket and get a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering.

Yes, that's right.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER, PH.D., GERMANY: I'm actually a nuclear chemist and (INAUDIBLE) Los Alamos National Laboratory. It's a famous nuclear weapons laboratory.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're going to solve tuberculosis and you're going to solve HIV?


SANJEGY MALLICK, INDIA: My main goal is to be self-sufficient. I don't want handouts. I'm contributing to America. I'm contributing my skills, my talent. So America needs me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't you think that's how you know you have made it in America, that you have a camera crew following you every waking moment? This is so post modern. I'm filming him filming you filming you.

GENE SIMMONS, ROCK STAR: Yes. Somewhere along the way I became enamored and started worshipping American pop culture, which rules the planet. Movies, TV, rock 'n roll, all of which was invented here.

Europe had the Scarlet Pimpernel. Here, they invent Superman. Even nature and gravity couldn't keep them on the ground. They were invulnerable and they could fly through the air and create worlds, anything that you could ever dream about. The new heroes were all invented here.

So, superheroes, movies, physically and literally invented right here. The cars you drive, you know, the telephone you talk about, even the night is no longer off limits. Somebody invented light -- Americans.

DENNIS OGBE, NIGERIA: I came from Africa, and Africa, like my dad, I use him as an example. He walked through all his life and died without having a house to his name. But in America, it totally is different.

I came here to the United States about seven years ago. Within seven years, I got two degrees. I got an undergrad degree and I got my MBA. This is not something that happens so easily every other place.

I'm a proud Olympian. I have a paralyzed left leg. For the past several -- eight years, I'm here, I've been holding the U.S. record. Now, I can sit comfortably. And I'm the U.S. record holder in shot put and discus.

I think Americans need to go out and see what is happening in real life. You have to go out to be humbled. When you go out and you don't know where your next square meal is going to come, or you see your neighbor starving or dying, or couldn't afford a basic necessity like drinking water, like drinking water, then when they come back here, they are going to appreciate what God has given them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome to Seattle. Welcome to this ceremony.

MAGGI LITTLE, KOSOVO: My family and I left Kosovo as a result of the Kosovo-Serbian war. And we knew we were coming to America. We had no idea what that meant. The United States saved my life, and I mean that is really the major reason why I decided to become a U.S. citizen and not return to Kosovo. Because the U.S. hadn't just been a country to me, it had been a guardian.

MICHAEL MCGINN, MAYOR OF SEATTLE: When you come to leave behind places of trouble and difficulty, whatever the reason, here, here we are all created equal. And we all have equal power to shape this country, to help us build the country we believe in.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you a racist? CLAUDE MATTOX, PHOENIX CITY COUNCIL: Today is a momentous occasion, but I can't ignore the fact of what is going on in our city today. We have protesters decrying about how unjust Arizona's immigration enforcement law is. That being said, I'm pleased to see that the immigration system can work, and you should be proud that you're a testimony to that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have sympathy for the people that are here illegally?

LUIS NUNEZ, MEXICO: Of course. I was born once one of them. And, of course, it's frightening for them. When Martin Luther King was fighting for civil rights that blacks and whites were equal, here, it's almost the same thing where we are fighting here so we can -- our voices can be standing out. Arizona is becoming a Nazi country when all of the Jews had to wear a tattoo on their arm, or they had to carry some kind of identification at all times. And if they didn't, they would have got prosecuted or taken away. And it feels the same way right now.




ZEENATH LARSEN, PAKISTAN: The bottom line is that your country and you have to be on the same page where values are concerned, principles are concerned, what you believe in. And if that is not the case, then it's maybe born somewhere and brought up somewhere, but then you don't feel that same type of loyalty, because the loyalty comes to ideas, not to the earth, not to trees and hills. That's the same everywhere in the world.

Is there any country in the world that has it enshrined in their constitution that you have a right to be happy? Any country?


DR. RIFAT ZAIDI, PAKISTAN: It's very difficult to explain to somebody from a third world country, you keep a gun under your pillow every night, there is no water there is no power. There is always something going on on the road or in the schools. So, your life is busy with those things.

You have no time to think about higher things in life. And that is something that changes when you come here. And you start living a life which is more fulfilling from that point of view.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think Americans take that for granted?

ZAIDI: Americans do take these things for granted. They don't know how lucky they are.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We congratulate our new citizens, Americans of the United States.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After going to all 50 states, I realized the coolest thing about this country is that you can go to any state and meet people from all over the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations. Smile!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My favorite thing about America is our newest citizens.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I pledge of allegiance to the flag.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Immigrants, just like my husband, who are enriching this country.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: The United States of America.

CROWD: And to the republic for which it stands.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Seeing America through the eyes of our newest citizens makes you realize all that we take for granted.

CROWD: One nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The American Dream is alive and well. And if we want to keep that dream alive and keep this country colorful, we just need to make sure that we continue to be welcoming.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): If tomorrow all the things were gone I worked for all my life.

I need to hear you now. There you go.

(singing): Just my children and my wife, I thank my lucky stars to be living here today, because the flag still stands for freedom and they can't take that away, and I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free, and I won't forget the man who died who gave that life to me, and I gladly stand up next to you, because there ain't no doubt I love this land, God bless the USA.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're 87 years old, and you just became an American citizen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are you going to do with your new citizenship?

O'DONNELL: Pretty much the same as what I've been doing all along, going to see the doctor, having shots, and cleaning the yard, picking up leaves.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then why did you want to become a citizen?

O'DONNELL: Well, that's what you do when you're a citizen.