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Adam Fondren, Deseret News
Lachlan Murray, center with glasses, poses for a picture with her adopted family after a citizenship ceremony for children at the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services’ office in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017. Murray is from China.
SALT LAKE CITY — Ten-year-old Jaryd Cueto is grateful to be a brand-new American citizen, but he concedes the adjustment of moving to the United States from Peru recently was not without its challenges.
“It was hard for me to learn English,” Jaryd said Thursday, but he credits the example of his hardworking mother for inspiring him to do so.
Dressed up for the occasion in a suit coat and tie, Jaryd was one of about a dozen children on hand Thursday at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Salt Lake office to ceremoniously begin their new life as American citizens, reciting the oath of allegiance.
“It means — like — a lot to me,” said Jaryd, who came to the United States in 2014. He lives with his family in Millcreek and wants to be a soccer player when he grows up. “(It was) a big, big honor.”
The other children who picked up their citizenship certificates Thursday were from all around the world: Ethiopia, Iraq, Thailand, Vietnam, Mongolia, China and Mexico.
Just one of them technically needed to be there to recite the oath of allegiance as a prerequisite for citizenship, by virtue of being at least 14 years old, but the others were invited to attend as a way to create a lasting memory with their families, immigration officials explained.
Rose Judd-Murray, who attended with her…