The Dog Whisperer Becomes a U.S. Citizen
03/12/2009 AT 06:00 PM EDT
Millan, 39, attended a swearing-in ceremony Thursday in Montebello, Calif., east of Los Angeles. Millan, who passed his citizenship test earlier this year, was cheered on by his wife Ilusion and sons Andre, 14, and Calvin, 10, all of whom are citizens.
"This is the ultimate culmination of living the American dream," Millan said in a statement. "Becoming an U.S. citizen has been a goal of mine since I first came to this great country. I have much to thank this country for, and all of the success it has afforded me and my family, and now I am proud to be a citizen."
Millan was born in Mexico and crossed the border illegally as a young man. He rose to fame working with celebrity clients including Jada Pinkett and Will Smith and Oprah Winfrey, and became a legal resident in 2000.
Millan now presides over an empire that includes the Emmy-nominated Dog Whisperer series, three best-selling books and a non-profit foundation for abused and abandoned dogs.