It often takes years for immigrants to complete the United States’ vetting process. More than 180 people lined up and officially became citizens on Thursday.
A Magistrate Judge takes the stage and reads the United States Oath of Allegiance. Immigrants from all over the world listened with their right hands raised. This is the final step in the Naturalization process.
The crowd fills with excitement as people cheer for their new status. They are led onto the stage. Each grabs their certificate and introduces themselves.
One woman that crosses the stage is dressed as a nun.
“My name is Maria Ogeda Jaurez. I am one of the Adoration Sisters. We came from Mexico. And we are dedicated to pray for the whole world and to our lord Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Today’s a great day for us, for our community, because three of us—we become citizens here.”
Jaurez and the two other nuns in the ceremony live in Sioux Falls. They are sisters at the Cathedral of Saint Joseph.
“This is now our country. This is now our people because wherever we go, we get to be one of them. So now, this is our people, this is our community and we love America.”
Jaurez says she hopes to celebrate her citizenship with the sisters at her cathedral when she returns.