SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The William J. Nealon Federal Courthouse in Scranton welcomed 42 citizens from 20 different countries to officially become citizens of the U.S.

Judge Mannion and Judge Saporito both spoke to the new citizens about what it means to be an American and the freedoms that come with being a citizen. The judges then led them in taking an oath to uphold the constitution.

This is the first year since the pandemic hit that the naturalization ceremony was held inside the courthouse.

“Everything was celebrated the way I hoped it would’ve in my head. We think about this day as an immigrant and what it would feel like to be an American and it’s everything that I hoped and dreamed it would’ve been, so I’m very excited!” exclaimed new U.S. citizen Shiniki Breen.

The new citizens even heard a special message from President Joe Biden, welcoming them to our country.