Millions of people come to America searching for a better life, and on Thursday, several dozen of them became U.S. citizens.

Thirty-nine immigrants from 17 different countries took the oath of allegiance during a ceremony at the Federal Court Building in Downtown Tyler.

U.S. Magistrate Judge John D. Love presided over the ceremony.

After taking the oath, the new residents said the Pledge of Allegiance and sang the Star Spangled Banner along with their family members and friends who filled the room.

Among those in the crowd were several dozen third grade students from the Brook Hill School in Bullard.

The teachers said they not only wanted their students to witness the naturalization ceremony, they also wanted them to understand the process of becoming a U.S. citizen.

“Hopefully this will be a lifelong memory they never forget and they can apply it and think about it in their lifetime,” said teacher Sandy Newsom.

In the last decade, the U.S. has welcomed more than 6.6 million naturalized citizens. Click here to learn more about the process.