Forty-five people became US citizens during a naturalization ceremony in Dodge City, Kansas, according to the Dodge City Daily Globe.
The new citizens, who originally hailed from a variety of countries such as Mexico, Somalia, China, Laos and India, took their citizenship oath in the Dodge City Community College’s Little Theater. Judge Eric Melgren of the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas presided over the ceremony, reported the newspaper, where he discussed how his own grandparents took the same oath in 1945.
“Citizens today follow very much the same road to citizenship which has been taken by those that have come before them for two centuries,” he said.
During the oath of citizenship, the group of 45 renounced their allegiance to their countries of birth and swore allegiance to the US, after which they were granted all the rights and liberties of US citizens, the news source reports. The name of each new citizen was read aloud in the theater, which was packed with friends and families celebrating the occasion.
Individuals who would like to receive US citizenship must be a permanent resident for five years prior to applying, according to US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Applicants must also speak English and pass a US history and civics test.