The group of 48 Idaho residents, from 19 different countries, can claim a unified identity after the Idaho State Capitol’s first naturalization ceremony Thursday morning.
Now all are U.S. citizens.
The new citizens came from 19 countries: Belgium Bhutan Canada China Ecuador Indonesia Iran Mexico Pakistan Peru Philippines Russia South Africa South Korea Tanzania Ukraine United Kingdom Uzbekistan Vietnam Information provided by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Junnaid Javed, who was originally from Pakistan is living in Meridian and completed his road to citizenship Thursday.
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If you need information on how to become a U.S. citizen check out the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.
“It’s great to be a U.S. citizen. It’s been a long journey,” he said moments after the ceremony. “Just the whole ceremony made us feel so welcome and so empowered. It was fantastic. It was truly a great day in my life.”
Jose Perez, originally from Mexico and now living in Idaho Falls, also shared enthusiasm about gaining citizenship.
“It’s a new day for me,” he said. “Thank you very much to the United States.”
Naturalization ceremonies can be hosted just about anywhere, and are often held in National Parks, libraries, universities and courtrooms. But, this was the first time such an event was held at the Idaho Statehouse, according to UCIS.