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Local man helps thousands become U.S. citizens

Immigration inspiration

YUMA, Ariz. - A Yuma man devoted 32 years of his life helping people from forty-nine different countries become U.S. citizens. 

Moreover, he's assisted over seven thousand people complete their citizenship applications, free of charge. 
 
Marci Rios, a local insurance agent and migrant advocate said his desire to help others all began with one man's act of kindness. 
 
"One day [an immigration inspector] asked my dad, 'Who is the little boy with you?"' Rios said. "Why don't you put him up here so he can learn English?"
 
The immigration inspector gave Rios a student visa, something Marci said changed the rest of his life. 
 
After Rios assimilated into the American culture, he applied to become a U.S. citizen. 
 
The next step for Rios became completing a new life's mission of helping others.
 
"One I became a U.S. citizen," Rios said. "My life changed for the better. And I said, 'now that I'm a citizen and contributor, I'm going to help other people become citizens.'"
 
Although the country wrestles with immigration concerns, Rios said his door is always open to those in need of assistance. 
 
"I see what it did for me," Rios said. "That's why I enjoy helping people become citizens. Anything that I can assist people with, I'm just a phone call away."

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