PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Every year millions of people seek refuge in the United States. This year the United States took in nearly 70,000 refugees. It takes several years, and a lot of work for those refugees to become legal citizens.
Many achieved that goal Friday and can now officially call themselves an American.
79 people from 28 different countries became US Citizens during a naturalization ceremony. One family escaped from Somalia with their lives.
Fatima Noor holds her naturalization certificate proudly, she's now officially an American citizen.
She along with 78 other immigrants recited their oath Friday morning. Noor clutched an American Flag throughout the ceremony. She and her husband fled Somalia in 1992 to escape certain death. Noor's own father was murdered in cold blood.
"Over there every single night you're worried about who is going to come to your house and kill you, you know her father was killed, my uncle was killed in Somalia too," said Abdullahi Noor.
Since the 1990's the United States has resettled nearly 100,000 Somali refugees.
"Back home if you don't have any money there's no way to go to school, and back home to learn English it's not allowed," said Abdullahi.
Noor says he made the effort to learn English and go to school in the U.S. before he applied for citizenship. Both are now naturalized citizens and are raising their seven children in the valley.
"Everybody likes to live in peace, you should work for it you know," said Abdullahi.
They say they're most grateful for the two things that many American's take for granted, free public school, and the freedom to live without fear of terrorists coming into your home in the middle of then night threatening to kill your family.
Around 12,000 people become naturalize citizens in the Phoenix area every year.