76 people from 28 countries become U.S. citizens - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

76 people from 28 countries become U.S. citizens

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In a building started by immigrants, a naturalization ceremony took place for 76 people in Cedar Rapids.

For many, it was a proud day, one they've been working towards for several years, as they took the Oath of Allegiance to become an U.S. citizen, inside the Czech and Slovak Museum and Library.

The youngest was a 21-year-old and the oldest, 81.

After taking the oath, new citizens watched a video from Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst. A message from President Donald Trump also played, with him saying, "this country is now your country".

For some, a feeling of relief came after becoming a citizen.

"It was a very long process. I started just before 9/11 and it was supposed to take just a few months but 9/11 caused everything to go haywire, as far as the system goes," Fredrico Gama, originally from Mexico, said.

For every person, their reason of wanting to become a citizen is different, but many said they came as a refugee from a country of unrest.

"I was looking for a refuge country, because in my country there was war. There was no peace. I was looking for freedom," Elivanie Niyonizigiye, who came from Burundi, said. "I'm happy to be in this country. God bless this country and God bless America."

Following the ceremony, citizens enjoyed one of their new rights; registering to vote.

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