20 new U.S citizens get naturalized at Mesa County Courthouse

Local News

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KFQX) – 20 people from 10 different countries are now U.S. citizens. The path to naturalization is not a walk in the park.

Many of these people have faced trials or trauma in their native country. After arriving to the U.S., they then have to learn a new language and culture along with American history, before trading in their green or permanent resident card.

“After 21 years that I come to this country, this citizenship open the doors for me and my daughter,” New U.S. Citizen Patricia Maradiegue-Wagner shares, “It was difficult times also, the citizenship gives me a freedom to go and come back, also, to visit my family in Peru.”

“After this naturalization ceremony, 20 new candidates are proud to say that they are a US citizen,” Cora Dickey reports.

Being a naturalized U.S. citizen means having the same opportunities as natural born Americans, including the right to vote.

After the hard work to become a citizen, some share how having citizenship opens up doors for opportunity and dreams coming true.

“It’s great, I mean, worth it. It’s worth all the the work I want,” Peruvian-American Gloria Burke expresses, “l already working elementary school with special needs and I want became a teacher.

Naturalization ceremonies can happen as frequent as possible with 20 honorees available. After each ceremony, these new Americans leave knowing something nobody can take away: “I am a U.S. citizen”

The next naturalization ceremony happening on the Western Slope is scheduled for 10 a.m. on September 15 at Colorado National Monument.

Naturalization is the process to become a U.S. citizen if you were born outside of the United States. If you meet certain requirements, you may become a U.S. citizen either at birth or after birth. Use this form to apply for U.S. citizenship. Gaining U.S citizenship now takes a year.

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