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50 sworn in as US citizens in ceremony

47 women take oath of allegiance in celebration of Women's History Month

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Fifty people became United States citizens Monday after taking the oath of allegiance in St. Johns County.

The naturalizations were part of a special ceremony in honor of Women's History Month. Forty-seven of the 50 candidates in St. Augustine were women.

For many of the candidates, the process took several years and included applications. Interviews and tests.

"I've been through all this for five years now," said Rosalinde Parsons, who was born in the Philippines. "I'm here now five years tomorrow."

Friends and family gathered for the intimate ceremony in St. Johns County.

"In other countries still unfortunately women don't have the same opportunities, and we are discriminated (against) even by age," said Cayley Eaton, who came to the U.S. from Peru. "In this country I realize everyone is the same in all of the situations."

That's why many of these women said they came to America -- for equal rights.

"It's our freedom to have those rights and not be deprived," said Filipino-born Ruth Register.

The second female mayor of St. Augustine, Nancy Shaver, spoke at the ceremony .. and said it was amazing to see.

"This is one of the most humbling experiences to think about the work and effort and passion and love for this country that all of these people brought to this room today," Shaver said. "It just makes your heart thump."

One-by-one the candidates received their certificates, making their citizenships official.

"I'm very happy and very proud that at last, I'm a citizen," Register said.