Twenty-one people from around the world have become naturalized U.S. citizens during a ceremony in Natchez.
The new Americans live in several cities across south Mississippi but originally came from China, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Oman, Russia, Ukraine and Vietnam.
Among them is 34-year-old Maria Garcia of Jackson, who has lived in the United States since she was 16.
Garcia owns Cozumel Mexican Restaurant in Ridgeland. She told The Natchez Democrat that she believes citizenship will bring new opportunities for her family.
U.S. Magistrate Judge John Roper said during Wednesday's ceremony that being an American carries rights and responsibilities.