FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- Uriel Cochran is just like any other fourth grader, but Friday was a very special day for him as he officially became a U.S. citizen.
"110% all boy. He loves to play with our dog, Flash, and play soccer, and play with his friends, and of course, video games," said Mindy Cochran, Uriel's mom.
With his classmates, family, and Senator Todd Young by his side, it's official. And he has a certificate and his own flag to prove it.
"It feels exciting to know that everybody participated in my classroom to help make this day go good," Uriel said.
Uriel first came to Don and Mindy Cochran as an immigrant when he was only 18 months old. He had been severely abused and neglected.
"He couldn't speak any language. He couldn't crawl. He couldn't walk. He was malnourished. He had the extended belly," Don Cochran said.
Since then, Cochran said he and his family have feared new immigration laws, and how they could affect their little boy.
"We were informed that if he didn't have that citizenship by the time he turned 18, and if he were to, God forbid, commit a crime, who knows what could happen at that point," Cochran said.
But now, Uriel can put his past behind him, and his dad gave him a piece of advice moving forward: "Always reach out to those in need."