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55 South Dakotans become U.S. citizens in naturalization ceremony

Naturalization Ceremony at the Washington Pavilion
Slater Dixon
Immigrants stand before taking the Oath of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony at the Sioux Falls Washington Pavilion.

Fifty-five South Dakotans became U.S. citizens in a naturalization ceremony Friday at the Sioux Falls Washington Pavilion.

Aspiring U.S. citizens must pass exams in English and civics, complete an interview and swear the Oath of Allegiance. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Charles Nail administered the oath at the ceremony.

“We smile with, and for, the 55 applicants for citizenship seated in front of me, and with and for their friends and families,” Nail said. “You will make our country better and smarter, and for that we thank you.”

Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken also spoke at the ceremony. He welcomed the new Americans and asked them to consider the responsibilities of citizenship.

“We need our residents and our community members to get involved in their communities, to mentor, to help out at schools. When you see something that needs to be reported, report it,” TenHaken said. “When we all work together as one Sioux Falls, we have an incredible city.”

The naturalized citizens came from 23 different countries. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offers information about the naturalization process at

Slater Dixon is a junior at Augustana University studying Government and Data Science. He was born in Sioux Falls and is based out of SDPB's Sioux Falls studio.