One hundred immigrants from 35 different countries became naturalized citizens on Friday's Festival PEOPLE en Español. They took their oath in fron tof a crowd of hundreds, including Gloria Estefan, Rita Moreno, Pitbull, and Dascha Polanco.
The ceremony began with a rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" sung by 11-year-old Jonael Santiago. Then, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services administered the Oath of Allegiance to the 100 now-citizens of the United States. They were naturalized in the presence of Outstanding Americans By Choice honorees Thalia and Mariano Rivera.
"I became naturalized after my daughter, Sabrina, was born," Mexican-born Thalia told the audience. "It was an organic step for me, and it was an opportunity to represent a Latin woman who works and takes care of her family and is an active part of this society."
Though she will always be proud of her Mexican culture, Thalia has blended Latin American and American traditions while raising her two children with husband Tommy Mottola. "It's funny to think that now we are going to celebrate Halloween," she said. "But we are also going to celebrate Día de los Muertos in my home."
Congratulations to all the new citizens of the United States!