ELYSIAN PARK, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- More than 2,100 new U.S. citizens took the oath of allegiance at a special naturalization ceremony at Dodger Stadium on Monday.
"Now I am happy because I am a new citizen now," said Mirna Navidad, a participant at the ceremony.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services partnered with the Dodgers to make this happen at the stadium - the first time when the entire facility was used for this purpose and on the field.
"Something as big as this, it is a new thing for us since pre-COVID," said Ur Jaddou, director of the USCIS. "And we are so excited to restart this and hope that our future with COVID allows us to continue to do this."
The new citizens are from 120 different nations. The top five countries represented were: Mexico, El Salvador, the Philippines, Iran and Guatemala.
Among those who took the oath was U.S. Army Private Litsy Serrano, who emigrated from Mexico.
"It means to take it one step further and serve our nation," Serrano said. "I was brought over here when I was four years old. I am currently 24. It has been a long journey. It's been difficult, but we finally made it."
At the event, Dodgers legendary pitcher Fernando Valenzuela became an "Outstanding Americans by Choice" recipient. The honor is given to naturalized citizens who have made significant contributions to their community and America.
"It is a great honor for me to receive this award and first of all to be invited and be here at this naturalization of a lot of people," Valenzuela said.