Refugee from Vietnam helping others become U.S. citizens

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PHOENIX - Natalie Vo has one fascinating story to tell her daughter some day.

"I thought the boat would sink to the bottom of the ocean, but we survived the storm.  It was amazing, I felt like I was born again," said Vo.

Vo came to the United States as a refugee from Vietnam. It's been more than two decades since her family escaped by boat.

"I believe when everyone comes to the United States they are looking for freedom or better opportunity," said Vo.

Hundreds of thousands of people each year are looking for just that.

Vo's job with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in Phoenix helps people achieve those dreams.

"When they come here they know they will get immigration benefits," Vo said.

Employees of the immigration benefits office held their open house Friday.

Marie Sebrechts with the department said this new building is a one stop shop for immigration services.

It's a place to help people navigate their way to becoming a U.S. citizen. Services include biometrics appointments, E-verify self check and a long list of others.

"It's the only way to get face to face information for someone who is immigrating or here as a non immigrant," said Sebrechts.

Vo said the freedom she has living in the states is a gift, a gift so many people are trying to get.
"This is home. I'm proud to be an American," said Vo.

The Phoenix office opened earlier this year, but is fully staffed and open for business Friday.
For more information visit the U.S. Citizenship and immigration services on-line