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100 new citizens welcomed in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Immigration and efforts to close our borders are big issues in the race for president, and state lawmakers are studying the idea of immigration reform here in Indiana.

Meantime, a hundred new citizens were welcomed to Indianapolis Friday.

Every year at this time the Benjamin Harrison home plays host to a large naturalization ceremony. It’s also a celebration of the people who immigrate to America from around the world.

About a hundred people took the oath of citizenship administered by federal judge Sarah Evans Barker. They came from 36 countries, including 14 from Mexico.

They are well aware of the candidate promises to close our borders.

“I don’t really understand what the perspective is,” said Radhika Cherukur, who came here from India, “But I think the immigrants are critical for the country, and the foundation of this country is based on immigrants.”

“Unfortunately the flood of illegal immigration, particularly those who don’t come here for the right purposes, undermines the whole narrative,” said Sen. Dan Coats (R-Indiana). “This is one of the most emotional and inspiring things I have witnessed.”

Coats spoke to the new citizens and told them how he is the son of an immigrant.

When the ceremony was over the immigrants had the opportunity to register to vote at a booth set up right on the grounds of the Harrison home.

Barker had a message for the immigrants that she repeated several times: “You are welcome here.”