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Marine Felt American Long Before Citizenship Oath

Jose Rodrigues came to the United States from Angola as a teenager and joined the Marines out of high school.

He served in Iraq twice, and he's one of 26,000 service members whose citizenship has been expedited because of his military service.

He's in trade school now, just outside of Boston, and will soon graduate with a certificate in heating and air-conditioning repair.

He says that taking the oath of citizenship didn't make him feel more American -- he's considered himself an American for a long time.

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Marisa Peñaloza is a senior producer on NPR's National Desk. Peñaloza's productions are among the signature pieces heard on NPR's award-winning newsmagazines Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as weekend shows. Her work has covered a wide array of topics — from breaking news to feature stories, as well as investigative reports.