Naturalization Ceremony Welcomes 200 New Citizens
SIOUX FALLS, S.D – America picked up quite a few new citizens today, and all of them live in the South Dakota area.
200 people from 39 countries. All new U.S. citizens. All excited about a new crop of opportunities.
“I always wanted to vote, and I never got to vote in my country,” says Natalia Langehn from Russia.
“You can be whatever you want, that’s what I like about the United States, says Rehan Yakoub from Sudan.
This is the newest class of American citizens calling South Dakota home.
The judge presiding Friday’s naturalization ceremony at the Washington Pavilion called it the largest class she’s seen.
“Just really exciting to see so many happy excited people becoming citizens,” says Judge Karen Schreier.
Earning citizenship isn’t easy. Extensive background checks done and tests passed…
“Some of them know more about our constitution and our government then our kids do,” adds Schreier.
It’s not only the process that’s tough. It’s the sacrifice.
“I just want to thank my mom because she fought for us, she did everything, so we just came and… yeah, she did all the work… yeah she did all the work,” the Bizuru family all say.
“To move to a different country, with no family and no friends, and to leave everything behind, sorry, but I’m happy that I’m here right now, and I didn’t get emotional until probably today. I didn’t sleep since 2:30am because I was so excited,” says Langbehn.
Ringing in a new sense of patriotism, pride, hope, and gratitude.
Many of the new citizens we spoke with came from impoverished countries without free education. They have hope their citizenship will bring a brighter future.