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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

Drive-thru naturalization ceremony at Cabrillo National Monument

People have been waiting for months, even years to become naturalized citizens, worried COVID-19 would interfere with the process.

SAN DIEGO — A life changing day for America’s newest citizens. More than 100 people from 41 countries were naturalized Wednesday in a drive-thru ceremony at the Cabrillo National Monument by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). 

People have been waiting for months, even years to become naturalized citizens, worried COVID-19 would interfere with the process. News 8 had a chance to follow one woman through the process. 

Shawnty Devira came through the drive-through with her husband and young son. She was very happy to be able to go through this. She came to the U.S. from India to pursue higher education.

After getting her degree at the University of Colorado in Boulder she came to San Diego many years ago and this has been her home ever since she also works at Qualcomm.

It was important to her to become a U.S. citizen so she could be just like the rest of her family. Her son was born here so he’s an American and now they can all celebrate their status together.

Shawnty said she had to get creative during the COVID-19 pandemic and she said back in March they were told this process would be delayed and she got a note last week saying they were working to make the naturalization ceremony happen drive-thru style.

Shawnty said she was surprised how quickly she was able to get in with this appointment Wednesday.

“Aaahh I didn’t think it would be this quick. It was like a drive-thru restaurant. I just so happy to receive it," she said.

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