(CNN)Gayathyra Jayaprakash knows how difficult it is to become a US citizen -- she became one just yesterday.
What new US citizens think of migrant families being separated
Jayaprakash was one of the thousands of immigrants naturalized in Houston on Wednesday, and like many other newly minted citizens, she is concerned about the Trump administration's immigration policy that has separated children from their parents at the Mexico border.
"I'm not sure what can be done but it's not fair separating the parents from the children," Jayaprakash told CNN affiliate KTRK.
"Being a mom, I don't want that," she said.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that the White House said will keep families together who cross into the US illegally. But Trump was clear that the government will maintain a "zero tolerance" policy on illegal immigration.
Marlon Levia, who was sworn in as a US citizen Wednesday morning, also has sympathy for the families that have been split apart at the border.
"My heart goes out to them," he told KTRK.
But, as an immigrant who has been through the time consuming naturalization process legally, Levia understands the complexity of the issue.
"This is a country of laws and everywhere we go we have to try follow the law," he said.
Leonie Peters, a new US citizen originally from Trinidad and Tobago, shares Levia's mixed feelings about the current immigration crisis.
"This is a land of opportunity and people want to come here and I can understand," she told KTRK. "There have been some difficult times for me too, but I chose the legal route."
Peters chose not to comment on those who have tried to enter the country illegally, but said that the situation on the border is unsettling.
"The immigrant story is a difficult story, any which way you look at it," she said.
New citizens like Peters appear to support legal paths to entry, but also share a concern for the fate of the separated children. For the moment, despite Trump's executive order, it still isn't clear when and how the nearly 2,300 children are going to be reunited with their families.
But as a steady stream of US citizens are legally naturalized each month, they can look forward to hitting the voting booths and casting a ballot for the first time in November's midterm elections.