ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — It was a special day for over 300 immigrants and their families on Wednesday, as they were sworn in as U.S. citizens at the Coronado Performing Arts Center.

Judge Margarate Schneider, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, helped welcome them.

The new citizens come from 64 countries and have spent years working to obtain the status of U.S. citizens.

The COVID-19 pandemic created delays in the process, leaving some waiting for a long time.

“For an immigrant like me and so many of us, who are sitting here, I think it has opened doors for all of us and there is so much to do,” said newly-minted citizen, Divya Sonegi. “You can do anything here and you can be successful at whatever you want to do. So, I think that’s one of the things that’s very motivating, and I hear a lot of stories of immigrants making it on their own and I think: I’m going to be one of them. So, yeah, I’m very hopeful for that.”

Wednesday’s ceremony was the largest ever held in the Western Division.