Immigrants from around the world took the Oath of Allegiance in Grand Junction, and afterward registered to vote in the upcoming election.
The 2012 election is coming up quick and for these new citizens it’s their first chance to cast a ballot in the U.S.
"My vote makes a difference," Cecilia Hernandez said.
"I’m living in a place that I want to be and I know my vote is going out somewhere,” Mayre Gutierrez said.
The desire to vote, especially in a hotly contested presidential election, is propelling the number of new U.S. citizens.
Mayre Gutierrez was born in Mexico but raised in the United States.
She’s excited to vote in a country she has always called home.
"Voting helps bring my voice out,” Gutierrez said. “I was just a U.S. citizen at heart. When I came of age at 18, I was just excited I could finally put in the application."
Cecilia Hernandez applied for her citizenship in June.
"I decided to become a citizen because I wanted to have the right to vote,” she said. “I also do a little bit of volunteer work with the community and I want to feel more welcome into it and I want to feel that I am really a part of it."
Typically, the number of new citizens goes up in presidential election years.
Emiliya Layef came to Colorado as a student.
She says, "I decided to come back to the United States again and change my life."
Now that she's a citizen, Emiliya says she plans on upholding her responsibility to vote.
Mesa County Libraries offer free citizenship classes and teach English as a second language.
It invites anyone interested in becoming a new citizen to contact them.