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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Citizen USA: A 50-State Road Trip
Aired July 4, 2011 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Here's an HBO documentary, "Citizen USA: A 50-State Road Trip."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, this is your newest citizen. He just passed his citizenship and he's going to become an American.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Her husband.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To the republic.
OBAMA: And for which it stands one nation under God indivisible.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With liberty and justice for all.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
OBAMA: I want your vote.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For a long, long time, I wait for this day.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is the greatest day in my life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALES AND FEMALES: I love America.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would rank today as my very top of the line on the best days of my life.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Today is the happiest day of my life.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love this country to death. God bless America. OBAMA: It's an honor and a privilege to call you a fellow citizen of the United States of America. This is now officially your country.
So help me God.
UNIDENTIFIED MALES AND FEMALES: So help me God.
ALEXANDRA PELOSI, DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER: Eight years ago, my husband, Majil (ph), was just one of the millions of immigrants who came to America legally. Since he married me and I was born in the USA, he had no problem getting a green card.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the green card. This is going to change my whole life. (INAUDIBLE) greatest country on Earth.
PELOSI: He was happy as a resident alien, until one day --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Born in the USA. Daddy wasn't born in the U.S.
PELOSI: Daddy wasn't born in the USA, Thomas.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He wasn't. Thomas was right here in New York. I have to become a citizen, because I can't become a foreigner in my own family.
PELOSI: Suddenly, he realized he really had to become an American, so he started down the path to citizenship. In order to become an American, you must be a permanent resident for three to five years, be able to read, write and speak English.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You guys think daddy knows how to speak English?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you ever practiced polygamy?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
PELOSI: Be a person of good moral character.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who was the father of our country? What is one right for U.S. citizens?
PELOSI: Pass a civics test.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Isn't that nice? You're all learning your American history together.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So help me God.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So help me God.
PELOSI: And take an oath of allegiance to the United States of America.
After my husband went through this process, something really changed in him. He felt like he really belonged to this country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: South Dakota.
PELOSI: And he was no longer a foreigner in his own family.
How many states are there?
PELOSI: His experience inspired me to set out on a road trip across America to all 50 states to experience the moment new citizens take their oath, to find out why so many people are willing to renounce their birth country and swear allegiance to the United States of America.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why did you choose to become an American?
WALTER DRATNER, POLAND: Something incredible happened in this country. When Obama became president, I said this country has came a long way. And there's no country that has such a full democracy like the United States. When a black person become the president, I said, this is it. I ain't going nowhere.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Constitution and the laws
UNIDENTIFIED MALES AND FEMALES: The Constitution and the laws.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of the United States of America.
UNIDENTIFIED MALES AND FEMALES: Of the United States of America.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When was the first time you actually felt like an American?
DRATNER: There was a day when my dream -- usually you dream in your own native language. And maybe 10 years, 15 years, you start -- you wake up in the middle of the night and you said to yourself, wow, this is different. I'm dreaming actually in English.
Guys, you know what I'm going to do today? I'm running to City Hall to register, so I can vote.
SEN. CHARLES GRASSLEY (R), IOWA: Today, you have the opportunity to vote. But you also have that opportunity for run for office.
Now, I don't know about all 50 states, but I know about national office. I believe the only office you can't run for is president of the United States. And I'm not encouraging any of you to run against me for the United States Senate, but you can do that.
ANDREW GRINBERG, RUSSIA (through translator): In America, they strive for removing barriers and discrimination of deaf individuals. We are given an equal opportunity.
In Russia, it's an embarrassment. I could not show people in public that I was deaf. I had to keep it hidden. I love it that, here in America, I am in America, and I'm so proud to be deaf. I am who I am. And I love it. Being deaf is great. I'm afraid of nothing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Raise your right hand.
PELOSI: You're the last person I would expect to find in the Bible Belt.
ARIJ HAMAD, JORDAN: I love Memphis. I love everything about it. I love the streets, the houses, the people. There is a church on almost every corner.
But, at the same time, I think we have like three or four mosques. And they're building more. And they're building a big community center. And we have an Islamic school. I see here people from many different backgrounds, many different religions. This country will accept you no matter where you're from.
PELOSI: Respond I do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALES AND FEMALES: I do.
PELOSI: Did say from Jordan?
What are you going to do with your newfound citizenship?
HAMAD: First, I'm going to get a passport, American passport.
PELOSI: And where are you going to go?
HAMAD: Where am I going to go? Where am I going to -- I want to go to Alaska. Can you believe it? I can't go to Alaska in a cruise unless I have an American citizenship.
(MUSIC) ISHAK, YEMEN: My name Ishak Irbenstein (ph). I was born in a huge family in Yemen.
GABBY, PANAMA: My name is Gabby Sheldon (ph). And I'm from Somalia. And I'm (INAUDIBLE) from Panama.
LASZLONE EDIT FAZAKAS, HUNGARY: Hello. My name is Laszlone Edit Fazakas. And I'm from Hungary. I'm very grateful to the country. Thank you very much. God bless America.
FAZAKAS: My husband and I, we fled the communist country of Hungary. And it's not that it was very bad living under communist government, but now that we know how different another life, another side is, it was very bad.
Under communist government, you had one choice, to get a Russian- made car. You had to pay half of it up front. And then the car arrived. You haven't even had a chance to pick for a color. You hated a yellow car, but by the time you're supposed to pick up your car, if there was only a yellow car on the lot, you have to take it. Otherwise, your number is thrown back for three years again.
So, for the rest of your life, you saved up your money for a car, and you hated a yellow car, but you're going to drive a yellow car because that was the only car available.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Say, I do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALES AND FEMALES: I do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome.
PELOSI: So where are you from?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm from Iraq. And all my friends here is from Iraq.
PELOSI: So how did you all Iraqis find each other in Nebraska?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We all become -- like most people that come, we used to live in same town (INAUDIBLE) refugee camp, like from 1991. Thus, we know each other.
PELOSI: And how did you end up in Nebraska?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Immigration.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The immigration. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The immigration send like for -- like, say, for example, like 100 people go for Nebraska, 100 people go for Washington State, 100 people going into New York, and they divide them before they come into United States.
PELOSI: What do you like most about America?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) here freedom. This is what I like most about United -- about America is the freedom, because everybody, like all around the world, they're looking for the freedom. And a lot of people, they can't find it.
MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: This is what I got. This is my mother. My name isn't Madeleine Albright at well. It's Maria Jana Koerbel.
And my brother and my sister -- and they gave us this at Ellis Island. My father asked for political asylum. And we lived in London during World War II. And the British were very kind to us. And then we came to the United States in 1948.
And my father used to describe the real difference. He said, when we were in England, people were -- couldn't have been nicer. They said, your country has been taken over by a terrible dictator. You're welcome here. What can we do to help you? But when are you going home?
When we came to the United States, people were very, very nice. And they said, your country has been taken over by a terrible system, and you're welcome here. What can we do to help you? And when will you become a citizen?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you ever committed a crime or offense for which you were not arrested?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you ever smuggled anyone into the United States?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you ever committed an offense for which you were not arrested?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you ever smuggled anyone into the United States?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you now or ever been a member of the communist party?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. I'm not a commie.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you ever bought or sold marijuana or speed? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, ma'am.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you ever been a habitual drunkard?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you ever been confined as a patient in a mental institution?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you ever sold your body for money?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Prostitution? Really?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think he's been involved in prostitution?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me present to you 3,340 persons having duly filed applications for naturalization.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And that I take this obligation freely --
CROWD: And that I take this obligation freely --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Without any mental reservation --
CROWD: Without any mental reservation --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Or purpose of evasion --
CROWD: Or purpose of evasion --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So help me God.
CROWD: So, help me God.
HARINDERJIT AHLUWALIA, INDIA: I had a dream in the world to go to the United States. It was on my, what do you call, dream to go to and settle in America.
PELOSI: And what do you do for work?
AHLUWALIA: I'm -- I start my business here. I have a business here. So, I have a couple of stores.
PELOSI: What kind of store?
AHLUWALIA: I don't want to tell. It's a tobacco store, cigarette store, like a convenient store.
PELOSI: And do a lot of people come to America from countries where you're not even allowed to smoke.
AHLUWALIA: Yes, in my religion, there's a restriction in tobacco. There's a restriction.
PELOSI: But now you sell tobacco?
AHLUWALIA: I have to do something, you know? Otherwise I have to work somewhere. But I'm a business-minded. So, I open a business. So, I'm happy with that business.
PELOSI: Only in America.
AHLUWALIA: Only in America. I can't do this kind of business in my country.
PELOSI: What is your favorite thing about America?
MARIA HUYIL (ph), PHILLIPPINES: My favorite thing is 911. I love it. Because you just dial the number and they come right away from your rescue.
TATSIANA NEUDAKH, RUSSIA: I like customer service.
TATIANA KORDIC, BELARUS: I love Disney World.
PELOSI: What's the best part about this country?
AEREE KIM, KOREA: The best part about this country is that it's giving me the opportunity to go to school, to buy a house. I mean, if I lived in Korea, I couldn't do that because you would have to have all the money up front. Now, I have student loans up to my eyeballs and a mortgage note, but if I lived in Korea, probably wouldn't be able to afford a house.
PELOSI: So, debt. Debt is the best part about America?
KIM: Well, no. I mean, that's probably the worst part of my life. Nobody wants to have debt, but that debt has given me stuff.
SILVA HOGAN, ISRAEL: Best of your life, 18 to 21, you have to go to the Army.
PELOSI: Girls included?
HOGAN: Girls included. And, you know, you have to serve your country.
ABDUL ALJAMAL, JORDAN: In Jordan, there are checkpoints. If you go out at night, there's a pretty good chance you're going to be stopped and questioned about where you're coming, where are you going, what are you doing -- in a way, that you would feel like you're a suspect.
PELOSI: What do you like most about America?
SHAQ, AFGHANISTAN: Freedom. You can do whatever you like.
SAM, AFGHANISTAN: And girls.
SAM: You can take her hand and shake and kiss on the street. Nobody asking you what the hell are you doing? But if this happened in our country, you know, like everybody is going to be kicking your ass over there.
SHAQ: You call every girl, hi honey, hi bunny, hi sweetie. And I was telling him, if you say this (INAUDIBLE) they're going to chop you off.
HOSSEIN ALIZADEH, IRAN: I stayed here because I'm a gay man. I cannot go back to Iran because of my sexual orientation. And I feel now that I'm walking here and I see people from different races, backgrounds, heterosexuals, homosexual, without fear, is the most beautiful thing. And most people don't appreciate what a blessing it is.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Against all enemies.
U.S. SOLDIERS: Against all enemies.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Foreign and domestic.
U.S. SOLDIERS: Foreign and domestic.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.
U.S. SOLDIERS: That I will bear truth faith and allegiance to the same.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why would you join the military of a country that you weren't born in?
RAYMOND FAIRWEATHER, JAMAICA: Because it's the best military in the world.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What would the world be without the U.S. military?
FAIRWEATHER: I think lost in chaos.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congratulations. You are all U.S. citizens.
HENRY KISSINGER, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE, 1973-1977: The last thing I expected when I came here is that I would wind up secretary of state. I had to work in a shaving brush factory because we didn't have enormous resources from the age of 16. And then I was drafted into the Army.
And then through a series of circumstances, very few of which I could possibly have planned, I wound up as secretary of state. It could happen only in America that somebody, a foreign born with a foreign accent would emerge as secretary of state in one of the most complex and tragic periods of American history at the end of the Vietnam War, in the middle of the Watergate crisis. And to go through all the detail through every step would take more time than you have for your film.
PELOSI: There is this rumor that your younger brother speaks perfect English.
KISSINGER: It's true. He speaks without an accent, anyway. And he claims that it's because he is the Kissinger who listens.
DUSANKA WELLS, SLOVENIA: I was 15 years old when I started working in a big factory. I was told I can't do much with my life.
I love the free agency that comes being in America. The free agency to me means that nobody tells me what to do and what I can be and what I can become. I can make my own choices, and I don't have anybody telling me you're not good enough.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there anything about America that you just haven't gotten used to?
WELLS: I guess what I'll never get used to, it's people complaining constantly about something. I know that things are a little harder right now, but just the people constantly complaining.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hereby declare under oath that I absolutely and entirely renounce --
ZANETA MAHR-BATUZ, SLOVAKIA: I came here. I spoke no English, and I had very bad education from Slovakia. And I came here, and everything I wanted happened. I decided to come as au pair. And I work in beautiful homes.
And then, later on, I cleaned the homes. I was a cleaning lady. And then in the end, I sold a home because I became a real estate agent, and I worked for a great agency, and they help me to become who I became. And it couldn't happen anywhere else, only in America.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations!
(CHEERS) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I call or name the country from which you come, please stand and remain standing. Albania. Bangladesh. Barbados. Brazil. Burma. Morocco. Portugal.
ROY CORREIA, PORTUGAL: I came to a country with nothing. Our family came with nothing. We worked at it. And I bought a home, raised a family here. Kind of the American dream, I guess. Most people have a dog and a cat.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please raise your right hand.
PELOSI: What do you do for work?
CORREIA: I work for Ashland, Massachusetts, a small little community. And I'm in charge of the water division. I worked my way up. And I make sure the water is clean, pure, people can drink it. I make sure that we have no problems with it.
PELOSI: What was the water like Portugal?
CORREIA: Well, I tell you, if you grabbed a jug and you walked a half mile down the river, you would get it right out of the side of the mountain. Couldn't analyze it, and you had to go grab it every day, four or five times a day.
This country takes everything for granted because it's just there. If you go to countries like where I'm from, the simplest things aren't there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congratulations, my fellow Americans, my fellow intentional Americans.
PELOSI: What are you going to do to celebrate becoming a citizen?
CORREIA: I'm going to go home and I'm going to buy myself a flag for my house. That's another dream I've had -- putting an American flag on my front door. That's the first thing I'm going to do.
That's how I'm going to celebrate. I'm going to put a flag on my door, a U.S. flag on a pole. Now I can. That's how I'm going to celebrate.
HILE CORRI, ALBANIA: In my country where the food compared to here, it's unbelievable. I grow up entire my life, we eat just corn, bread -- nothing else.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd be of true faith. CROWD: I'd be of true faith.
PELOSI: So what is your favorite food now?
CORRI: Oh, you cannot imagine here. Here is everything like in paradise. You know? American food or you can eat China food, or Italian food, or whatever you wanted, you can have it, because it's America.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God bless America!
CORRI: I can tell all of my American people, they have to grow up and to say God bless America, because this country, it's unique in the earth for everything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hile Corri.
CORRI: Thank you. God bless America. Thank you very much.
RITA MILLER, INDONESIA: Here is amazing, because I can do stuff, as normal people can do.
PELOSI: Like what?
MILLER: Like driving, go to work.
PELOSI: Why couldn't you drive in Indonesia?
MILLER: Because they don't have equipment for small people. They fix my pedal, the brake and the gas and they put the seat up high. America is good for disabled people. I'm free here. Bye!
PELOSI: How did you pick Mississippi?
NILDA GUERRA, CUBA: School, free scholarship to go to law school.
Twenty-three different countries were represented in the ceremony today. And we're just coming to different places and settling down, and not running to the big cities.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congratulations.
GUERRA: It's nice to start in a new place, to start a family and bring what you have from your culture into the existing culture, kind of part of what being an American is all about.
REV. LARRY MAUGH, FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH: Merciful God, as we invoke your name today and your presence with us, we know it is to go from this place back into the routines and the rhythms of our lives that you go with each of us, oh God. In Jesus' name, amen.
CHOIR (singing): God bless America, land that I love stand beside her and guide her through the night with the light from above, from the mountain to the prairies to the ocean white with foam, God, God, God, God, God, God bless America, my -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On behalf of the United States.
CROWD: On behalf of the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When required by law.
CROWD: When required by law.
SAEH AL-AMEEN, LEBANON: Being an American gave me the right to practice any religion I want.
On this block in Dearborn, Michigan, you can see two churches on one side, the mosque in the middle, and two churches from the other side. And it's the tolerance that the United States has for everybody, for all religions, that built this massive and this beautiful country. And it is that lack of -- it is the lack of that tolerance, if it happens, that could destroy this country.
DHUMRONG INDHAWIWATDHANA, THAILAND: Missionary monk.
PELOSI: You're a missionary monk here in Utah?
INDHAWIWATDHANA: Yes, ma'am.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why did you come to America?
INDHAWIWATDHANA: Because I came over here to teach the Buddhist teaching and Buddha teaching and meditation.
PELOSI: And why do you want to stay in America?
INDHAWIWATDHANA: Oh, because I love America.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Raise your right hand. Your right hand.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Smile pretty.
GHINA ABUL-KHOUDOUD, LEBANON: When you come to the United States, you know, if you work hard and full-heartedly, you'll reach wherever you want. That's what made us come here. And that's why we're raising our kids here.
In Lebanon, there is a lot of politics. If you know somebody, you can be, you know? Even if you don't have the right qualifications, you'll get your spot. But here in the United States, if you don't know anybody, it's your work, hard work you will be there.
HASSAN ABUL-KHOUDOUD, LEBANON: A lot of places you can really work really hard. A lot of places you can die working hard and you never get anywhere. But in the United States, most of the time, majority of the time, the hard work pays off. UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): It's a whole lot of country, Texas, is, a whole lot of country, Texas is, it's rich in bucks and pickup trucks, it's a whole lot of country, Texas is yahoo!
PELOSI: Why is this an important day?
UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Because my daddy's becoming a citizen.
PELOSI: How did you come to America?
JAVIER CABRERA, MEXICO: Swimming, crossing the border.
PELOSI: Why did you swim across the border to get here?
J. CABRERA: Because you got to do. You got to do what you got to do to get over here.
PELOSI: But why did you do it?
J. CABRERA: To better opportunities.
PELOSI: And did you find those better opportunities?
J. CABRERA: We did.
ISMENIA CABRERA, MEXICO: I crossed the border with no papers, too.
PELOSI: And you met your husband here? Yes? How did you meet your husband?
I. CABRERA: In a restaurant. He was working. I met him there.
PELOSI: So after you came here illegally, how did you get to stay?
J. CABRERA: Well, they have this amnesty around '87. And anybody that was here before '81 qualified to be a resident. So, I become a resident around '87.
I. CABRERA: You know, we came here to help this country, not to become criminals, to do nothing bad. We came here to help everybody and to become a good human being. Wherever you go, you'll be accepted if you are a good human being.
ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE HUFFINGTON POST: It's not a country based on hierarchies the way Europe is. In England, for example, there is still much more of a class system, much more of a question about where were you born. Not so here. The sense that you can be an immigrant who wasn't born here and yet have a voice in this country, be able to question, to criticize, you know, that very American spirit of dissent. And all this have been just critical in my own evolution.
RAWAN BARGHOUT, JORDAN: The most thing I like about America is the school bus stop and every car behind and front of the school bus stop. And it's safe for my kids.
LIDA WISNER, SOUTH AFRICA: It's not having all these rights, freedom speech, freedom of this. For me, it's to know I can take my family around the block for a walk in the stroller and I don't have to be worried about being hijacked. Sometimes you forget that every day is a blessing. You woke up, and it's a gift.
HAZEM TAEE, IRAQ: I remember it was about a month and a half from my arrival, and I saw a person walking his dog. And the dog had kind of socks on his feet. And I was wondering, why would he put socks on a dog's feet? And he said the pavement is hot. I said, wow, really?
They care about animals to that degree, and even their feelings. Humans are not treated like that in Iraq. Many people would wish to be even an animal in the United States.
DAKOTA CHORAL UNION (singing): Proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free, and I won't forget the ones who died who gave that right to me, and I gladly stand up, next to you and defend her still today, because there ain't no doubt I love this land.
RUBY & ROBIN, CHINA: We're twins.
PELOSI: You don't get Chinese twins a lot.
RUBY & ROBIN: No. I think we're the only Chinese twins I know.
PELOSI: Right? Oh, being in China you can't even have more than one kid.
RUBY & ROBIN: Yes. Because in China, there is a one child policy. If you have more than one kid, they make you pay really high taxes or you adopt them out or you throw them in the garbage can, do something to the baby.
The government is everything. The government is controlling. It's like, you know, all powerful.
PELOSI: So how could you guys be teenagers in China?
RUBY & ROBIN: No social life. No social life. They don't let like you go on Facebook or like Google or like YouTube, because they don't want you to, like, know all of America. They have their own Facebook for Chinese people. But I heard that it's really lame. We're pretty lucky to be here.
Yes. I'm happy I'm here today to celebrate. (APPLAUSE)
PIMPREYA JUNE GEORGE, THAILAND: I cannot do this in Thailand if I'm still in Thailand. You know, I own a school. I create an app for Apple store, so why not become American.
PELOSI: What is your app? Tell me about your app.
GEORGE: It's called total math. It teaches the children about numbers how to count the numbers and everything. We got an e-mail from Steve Jobs one night at 3:00 a.m. in the morning. He decided to e-mail us about our app and he encouraged us to keep dreaming, which is not dreaming anymore. My dream has come true.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are now citizens of the United States.
VALLI ARUMACHALAM, INDIA: This is the only country where you can come with $100 in your pocket and get a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering.
MICHAEL FASABENDER, PH.D., GERMANY: I'm a nuclear chemist. I work at Los Alamos National Laboratory. It's a famous nuclear weapons laboratory.
PELOSI: If you're going to solve tuberculosis and you're going to solve --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My main goal is to be self-sufficient, OK? I don't want handouts. I'm contributing to America. I'm contributing my skills, my talent. America needs me.
PELOSI: Don't you think that's how you know you've made it in America that you have a camera crew following you every waking moment? This is so post modern. I'm filming him filming you filming you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
CHAIM WITZ, BORN IN ISRAEL: Somewhere along the way I became enamored and started worshipping American pop culture, which rules the planet.
Movies, TV, rock 'n roll, all of which was invented here. Here, they invented superman, the heroes with no limitations. Even nature and gravity couldn't keep them on the ground. They were invulnerable.
They could fly through the air and create worlds. Anything that you could ever dream about, the new heroes were all invented here so super heroes, movies, physically and literally invented right here.
The cars you drive, you know, the telephone you talk about even the night is no longer off limits. Somebody invented the light, Americans.
DENNIS OGBE, NIGERIA: I came from Africa. I use my dad as an example. He walked through all his life and he didn't have a house to his name. But in America, the story is different. I came here to the United States about seven years ago. Within seven years, I got two degrees, an undergraduate degree and my MBA. This is not something that happens so easy in every other place. I'm a paralympian (ph). I have a paralyzed left leg.
And for the past seven or eight years that I'll be here, I'll be holding the U.S. record. Now I can say comfortably I'm the U.S. record holder in shot-put and discus. I think Americans need to go out and see what's happening in real life.
You have to go out, to be humbled. When you go out and you don't know where your next square meal is going to come or you see your neighbor starving or dying or couldn't afford a basic necessity like drinking water, like drinking water, then when they come back here, they are going to appreciate what God has given them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome to Seattle, welcome to the ceremony.
MAGGI LITTLE, KOSOVO: My family and I left Kosovo as a result of the Kosovo Serbian war. We knew we were coming to America. We had no idea what that meant. The United States saved my life. That's the major reason I decided to become a U.S. citizen and not return to Kosovo, because the U.S. hadn't just been a country to me. It had been a guardian.
MICHAEL MCGINN, MAYOR OF SEATTLE: Here, we are all created equal and we all have equal power to shape this country, to help us build the country we believe in.
CLAUDE MATTOX, PHOENIX CITY COUNCIL: This is a momentous occasion, but I can't ignore the fact of what's going in our city today. We have Americans crying how unjust Arizona's immigration enforcement law is. That being said, I'm pleased to see the immigration system can work and you should be proud that you were a testimony to that.
PELOSI: Do you have sympathy for the people here illegally?
LUIS NUNEZ, MEXICO: Of course, I was born one of them and of course, it's frightening for them. When Martin Luther King was fighting for civil rights, black and white were equal.
Here it's almost the same thing, where we're fighting here so we can, our voices can be standing out. Arizona is becoming a Nazi country when all of the Jews had to wear a tattoo on their arm, where they had to carry some kind of identification at all times.
And if they didn't, they would have gotten prosecuted or taken away and it feels the same way right now.
ZEENATH LARSEN, PAKISTAN: Your country and you have to be the same as far as your values are concerned, principles are concerned. What you believe in.
If that's not the case, then you may be born somewhere and brought up somewhere, but then you don't feel that same type of loyalty because the loyalty comes through ideas, not through the earth, not through mountains and trees and hills.
That's the same everywhere in the world. Is there any country in the world that has it enshrined in the constitution that you have a right to be happy? Any country?
DR. RIFAT ZAIDI, PAKISTAN: It's difficult to explain to someone who lives in a third world country, you keep a gun under your pillow every night. There's no water, there's no power, there's all this going on the road, on the schools.
Your life is kind of - is busy with those things. You have no time to think about higher things in life and that is something that changes when you come here. And you start living a life, which is more fulfilling from that above.
PELOSI: Do you think Americans take that for granted?
ZAIDI: Americans do take these things for granted. They don't know how lucky they are.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We congratulate our new citizens of the United States.
PELOSI: After going to all 50 states, I realized the coolest thing about this country is that you can go to any state and meet people from all over the world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations, smile.
PELOSI: My favorite thing about America is our newest citizens. Immigrants just like my husband who are enriching this country.
Seeing America from the eyes of our newest citizens makes you realize all we take for granted.
The American dream is alive and well. If we want to keep that dream alive and keep this country colorful, we just need to make sure we continue to be welcoming.
You're 87 years old and you just became an American citizen. What are you going to do with your new citizenship?
JAMES PATRICK O'DONNELL: Pretty much the same thing as what I've been doing all along. Go to see the doctor, having shots, cleaning the yard, picking leaves.
PELOSI: Why do you want to become a citizen?
O'DONNELL: Well, that's what you do when you're a citizen.