Thirty-three immigrants were naturalized as U.S. citizens Wednesday in Portland. Credit: CBS 13

Thirty-three new U.S. citizens now call Maine home.

Before receiving their citizenship certificates Wednesday, the candidates took an oath of allegiance.

The naturalization ceremony, celebrated in advance of Juneteenth, welcomed citizens from 22 countries, including Afghanistan, Brazil and Ethiopia.

“It’s been a while, being an immigrant, not feeling like you have a country,” new citizen Lina Stellar said. “Being here, being called American, where I am, having everything, it’s so exciting.”

“It’s overwhelming,” new citizen Irma Nobiandi Hargreabes said. “I’m so happy to be a part of the greatest country in the world, so it’s really happy.”

Department of Homeland Security Deputy Chief of Staff Kay Fallon delivered a congratulatory speech, saying she was inspired by each of them who have “transformed this country.”