Alexa Juran, left, takes a photo of her boyfriend Dhimiter Cobani of Albania, center, and his parents Vasil Cobani and Mirela Cobani, right, after Dhimiter received his certificate of citizenship at the Naturalization Ceremony at the Empire State Plaza on Thursday, July 4, 2019 in Albany, N.Y. The ceremony took place during the 44th annual Independence Day celebration at the plaza. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)

Alexa Juran, left, takes a photo of her boyfriend Dhimiter Cobani of Albania, center, and his parents Vasil Cobani and Mirela Cobani, right, after Dhimiter received his certificate of citizenship at the Naturalization Ceremony at the Empire State Plaza on Thursday, July 4, 2019 in Albany, N.Y. The ceremony took place during the 44th annual Independence Day celebration at the plaza. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)

When Dhimiter Cobani walked into Albany High School for his first day of classes, the then 14-year-old freshly arrived from Albania was stunned by the ethnic, cultural and racial diversity flowing through the halls.

“In Albania, everyone’s Albanian,” said Cobani, now 21 and entering his senior year as a scholarship student at St. Lawrence University.

On Independence Day, Cobani joined 28 other Capital Region residents from 19 nations being sworn in as new U.S. citizens at the Empire State Plaza. They became citizens as the nation has focused attention on the immigration crisis at the southern border and the legal issue of whether a citizenship issue should be included on the 2020 Census form.

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https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/New-citizens-sworn-in-on-Independence-Day-14072253.php#photo-17805011