Garden State welcomes news US citizens on Battleship New Jersey

CAMDEN, N.J. (WPVI) -- On board the Battleship New Jersey Wednesday, 41 people took an oath and became U.S. citizens. One of the first things they did was recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

"It's a beautiful thing after 24 years that I live in the United States. I applied for my citizenship and I get approved. It's very nice, a beautiful day," said Giuseppe Pesa of Toms River.

"Finally I'm becoming a citizen. I love this country. I've been in this country for a long time," said Luis Hozvavilla of Haddonfield.

In 2015, 730,000 people naturalized, 34,000 of them did it in New Jersey. All the new citizens in attendance Wednesday already call New Jersey home. For many this was a long process.

"Seventeen years I have tried every way to stay legally. As of now. I've never even gotten a traffic ticket, so be a good citizen," said Jyothirmayi Mudunuri of Monroe Township.

In the state of the New Jersey, there is still time to register to vote. Some tell us that was the reason they wanted to become naturalized.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, there was a table for citizens to register to vote.

"It's a right, for once, I can take advantage of it to vote for my president now," said Pensa.

"I've never voted in this country. I'd like to vote this time. I'm waiting for the day," said Praveena Chennareddy of Camden.

"Yes, I am going to vote, but I'm not going to say who I'm going to vote for. But I do have my choice. I did make my mind up," said Mudunuri.
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