EAST GREENBUSH, N.Y. (NEWS10) — From the Caribbean to the Bay of Bengal, 30 new citizens from 22 different countries took an oath Friday to support and defend the U.S. Constitution. The naturalization ceremony, officiated by U.S. Magistrate Judge Chris Hummel, was held at Columbia High School.

“I think sometimes new citizens have a greater appreciation for what we have than we do,” Hummel said. “These people have worked for 15 or 20 years to get here, they’ve traveled long distances, they bring great ideas, and new energy to the country.”

Although the new citizens did not make the deadline to vote this Tuesday, representatives from the Rensselaer County League of Women Voters were there to ensure they would be registered for the next election.