MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As America celebrates Independence Day, 30 immigrants celebrated something even more personal.
The men and women from 20 nations became American citizens Thursday morning after months of studying.
The group stood together at Golden Valley City Hall to take an oath that completed the Naturalization process, the third event in the last week.
In all, 120 people in the metro just became Americans.
Olamibo Moka is from Nigeria.
“Everyone would love to be an American citizen,” he said. “It is the No. 1 top country in the whole world. We love the country and we are all happy to be here.”
Olamibo attended to cheer on his friend and fellow Nigerian, who’s joining her young children and husband in becoming an American citizen.
“I am just thankful to God he’s brought me this far,” she said. “Many people want this opportunity. He gave it to me on a platter of gold. I am so grateful to him.”
One by one they accepted their certificates that made their journey to citizenship complete.
U.S. District Court Judge Leo Brisbois presided over the ceremony.
“By your achievements today you have earned the rights and liberties that go with being an American Citizen, but along with those rights and liberties, come important obligations as well,” he said.
New citizen Oksana Norman of the Ukraine took a chance to think about what it all means.
“Possibly more freedom, more opportunity,” she said.
Her 15-year-old daughter Violet was at her side, and shared her pride.
“It wasn’t easy for her to have all these tests in English,” Violet said. “She’s doing real well.”
At the conclusion of the ceremony, they also watched a videotaped message from President Obama, and they said the Pledge of Allegiance for the first time as American citizens.