Building partially collapses after natural gas explosion in Denver

Coloradans become U.S. citizens in Trump immigration era

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DENVER -- More than 50 Coloradans from 29 countries took the oath of allegiance Tuesday in a naturalization ceremony at the Colorado History Center.

"I was waiting for this for a long time. I am so very excited," said Luis Lopez, an immigrant from Mexico.

Lopez said after weeks of increasing deportation fears in the Hispanic community, it is nice to have that threat behind him.

"They have been scared, some have even made plans to go back to Mexico," Lopez said, speaking about his friends.

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services director Kristi Barrows, the Denver region has seen a spike over the past year -- adding the normal process takes about four to six months.

"We'll always be a country that welcomes new citizens," Barrows said.

The new U.S. citizens in Colorado had to take an intense civics exam before Tuesday's events. Most had green cards for several years before they became citizens.