PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Twenty-five people became U.S. citizens today during a ceremony at Congress Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was debated.

Standing proudly with their right hands in the air, men and women from 20 countries, including Liberia, Ukraine, India and Mexico, took the oath of citizenship pledging allegiance to the United States of America.

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Each had a personal reason for taking this big step:

“America has a lot of job opportunities. I felt like becoming a citizen would further enhance my ability to broaden my horizons.”

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“I love America. And I love that there are laws, there are rules.”

“I want to feel I can contribute something to this country. This country has given me a lot since I’ve been here.”

This week, 350 naturalization ceremonies are taking place, welcoming new citizens just in time for the nation’s birthday.

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Reported by Lynne Adkins, KYW Newsradio 1060