Vice President Joe Biden was guest speaker as more than 100 immigrants representing 53 countries became naturalized citizens at the King Center in Atlanta Thursday.
Maria Vasquez, who is from Cuba but has lived in the U.S. for 17 years, was among them.
"I'm feeling good; I'm very good; I'm excited," she tells WSB's Sandra Parrish.
Her husband, Rynaldo Valdes, is from Puerto Rico and has served in the U.S. Army for 30 years. He's been urging his wife to become a citizen for years.
"I've been trying to open her eyes that is the only way if you're going to go forward in this country, it's going to be (as) a citizen the right way," he says.
Biden urged Vasquez and the other new citizens to encourage the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country not to give up on the path to citizenship.
"Help as you move on and don't be afraid to lend your voice to those seeking the same rights you achieved today," he says.
Biden chastised House Speaker John Boehner, who this week, refused to negotiate with the Senate on immigration reform.
"He will not allow the process to work," says Biden. "He will not allow the House to play fair... the American way and let the House actually vote their conscious to fix a broken system."
The naturalization ceremony was among 120 held around the country this week where 8,000 immigrants will become U.S. citizens.