MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Burgers, hot dogs and parades — for some Minnesotans, those are just the minor parts of Independence Day.

Around 1 in 14 Minnesotans were born outside the U.S. Most immigrants in the state are from Mexico, India, Laos, and Somalia.

Thirteen-year-old Ashley Martinez was born in the U.S. However, her parents and grandparents immigrated from Mexico. On Monday, in a park in the Como area of St. Paul, the Martinez family prepared a spread of food, covering two tables.

“They’re proud to be here,” Ashley said, referring to her relatives.

The Martinez family celebrated the holiday with chorizo burgers and guacamole, and hotdogs.

“Part American, part Mexican…sometimes we like to mix them together, because it’s, like, super good,” Ashley said.

The teenager says that at the end of every Fourth of July, the family prays together. Her grandparents also tell stories of their past in Mexico.

“We know that it’s a big meaning for the United States, so that’s why we celebrate with them,” Ashley said.

In a park near downtown Minneapolis, Haroon Al-Hajiby also joined in on the celebration, playing soccer with friends.

“It’s an important day to celebrate independence,” Al-Hajiby said.

He came to the U.S. from Yemen a year ago.

“In my country, there’s a war,” he said. “There’s nothing to go back to.”

So, he’s making the most of his new address.

Meanwhile, another St. Paul family told us Monday that they’ve been in Minnesota since 2008 after immigrating from Nepal. A mother and two children waved flags as they left festivities in the city.

“America has given a lot to us…especially education,” Dikshya Adhikiri said. “So America is a huge life opportunity.”

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

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