10 people become U.S. citizens at Valley ceremony

A packed house at Paradise Valley Community College is filled with proud family and friends of future citizens.

"It's great," Grace Salinas said. "It's like having everything you ever wanted all wrapped up into one thing."

Grace says in the 1970s her husband, Jobe, left Mexico and has never looked back. He tells us all the opportunities he's had here since are things he'll never take for granted.

"You can get educated and nobody can take that away from you," he said. "This is one of the greatest countries in the world."

After decades without citizenship, he's here now because of the presidential campaigns and eventually the results. The same reason for Lucia Reyes, who's making sure she has a future in this country.

"Well, I want to be able to be with my kids," she said. "Laws are changing, so I guess this is one of the points."

"So, an uncertain future, so want to make sure you're a citizen so you can stay here just in case?" I asked.

"Yes," she replied.

There's always a spike in citizenship applications during election years, but numbers from immigration services show between October 2015 and March 2016, they received more than 430,000 applications, which is a 6 percent increase from the prior election cycle in 2012.

It's difficult to attribute that increase to President Donald Trump, who has insisted that his policies, at this point, are focused on deporting undocumented criminals.

Politics aside, today is about something more... a love and appreciation for this country.

"I was waiting for 40 years," Jobe Salinas said. "Today is something very special for me."