Country, Valley gain 120 new Americans

HARLINGEN — American flags were waving.

Smiles were wide. The occasion — 120 immigrants took the oath of allegiance yesterday to become U.S. citizens.

“It’s a good feeling to be a United States citizen,” said Joe Gardner, 24, from England.

The ceremony was one of 180 that are happening throughout the U.S. during Presidents Day weekend.

Many new citizens from around the world often have waited many years to gain their citizenship.

Yesterday’s ceremony at the Iwo Jima Memorial in Harlingen made 120 people in the Rio Grande Valley new American citizens.

Gardner raised his right hand along with the others declaring allegiance to the U.S. and to support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.

Gardner came to America with his family and moved to the Valley. In 2007, he received his green card.

He said he and his family all signed up at the same time to become citizens and didn’t know why he was selected before any of the others.

“I must be the lucky one from my family,” Gardner said. “But I will be looking forward to come watch them go through the ceremony, too.”

For the rest of this story and many other EXTRAS, go to our premium site,

Subscribe to it for only $6.99 per month or purchase a print subscription and receive the online version free, which includes an electronic version of the full newspaper and extra photo galleries, links and other information you can’t find anywhere else.