California Secretary of State Alex Padilla helped welcome 1,000 people to U.S. citizenship Tuesday during a naturalization ceremony at the Fresno Convention Center.
Padilla’s parents emigrated from Mexico and settled in the Los Angeles County town of Pacoima, a working-class community. Padilla’s father was a short-order cook and his mother was a house cleaner.
He went on to graduate from MIT with a degree in mechanical engineering. Padilla was a state senator from 2006 to 2014, then won election as secretary of state in 2015.
Among those taking the Pledge of Allegiance was Kulwinder Kaur, from India, who had her 6-month-old daughter, Avneet Khosa, alongside.
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Sisters Phanomphorn Kingkham and Thongphone Kingkham, both from Laos, also became new citizens.