New Americans on the 4th of July

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A man takes part in an United States naturalization ceremony ahead of Indepedence Day at the New York Public Library.

This week, 150 immigrants became new American citizens in front of a copy of the Declaration of Independence that was handwritten by Thomas Jefferson.

Yuval Hadadi, a theater and film director who was born in Israel, was one of those who pledged allegiance to the United States at the New York Public Library.

He said that seeing the copy of the Declaration made the ceremony very emotional, especially so close to Independence Day. "I think is a great letter," he said. "I was just reading it earlier and was thinking how long it must have taken them to come with this perfect proclamation of human identity and human desire, to live life in a society that would give freedom and justice for all."

The new Americans come from 47 countries. Some of their stories are in the audio slideshow below.