Twenty-five people became citizens, just in time for the 4th of July.

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Tampa, Florida -- Twenty-five people from as far off as Britain, Bosnia, and Ethiopia took the oath the day before the 4th of July to become American citizens.

The process isn't easy. There are background checks, tests, and interviews. But for these brand new Americans, it was all worth it for the moment when they truly belong to the country they love.

10 News talked with one of these new citizens about the promise of the USA and the protests in some places right now against people who are breaking the law to get here.

Twenty-five people became citizens, just in time for the 4th of July.

When Nancy Maldonado raised her hand and swore an oath to the United States, if you saw a glow in her eyes, it was probably from the tears she's been wiping away all day.

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"I fell in love with America," she said. "I think it's a land of opportunities. If you dream something -- you do it!"

Maldonado came to the swearing-in ceremony at Tampa's main library with her two kids, who she thought may never survive their childhood.

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You see, where she's from, the armies train children as soldiers. She left Colombia seven years ago after kidnapping commonplace.

"I was scared for my son, because they were kidnapping kids at, like, 16, 17 years old," she said.

People from Central and South America -- like the Maldonados -- have been flooding into Texas from the US-Mexican border this summer. Thousands of moms and kids have come, or just kids alone.

Overloaded agents have tried to move the immigrants to California to get processed and sheltered but protesters in at least one town have forced them away.

Nancy Maldonado, who left her home and family to save her children here in America, says she can't understand the uproar.

"If you come and you work, and you integrate with American culture, and you do good things, Americans are very nice people," she said.

"Everybody is very nice, if you show the best of [yourself] here."

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