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55 immigrants become U.S. citizens at Civic Center

Alice Keefe
Created: October 23, 2019 05:46 PM

(ABC 6 News) - Fifty-five Minnesotans became United States citizens in Rochester Wednesday.

It was the second naturalization ceremony the Rochester Public Library has hosted in two years, with citizens from 25 countries.

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“Being American isn’t just, I don’t know I don’t feel like I just became an American today. I felt American for a very, very, very long time,” said new citizen Jenna Jonjua.

Jonjua lives in the Twin Cities now, but has lived in the United States practically all her life, since her family moved from Canada when she was five-years-old.

“I am now 26, so 21 years in the making,” Jonjua said.

Cherisse Marcou, who’s lived in Rochester since 2006, has been in the U.S. for nearly just as long.

The self-proclaimed “island girl from the Bahamas” has called American her home since 2000.

“It’s been an exciting journey. I’ve been able to be afforded great education and an opportunity to live out my passions and my dreams here,” Marcou said.

“I did shed a few tears, broke the stoic Minnesota, you know, vibe,” Marcou said.

With the Pledge of Allegiance and certificate of citizenship come opportunities, which both women are eager to enjoy.

“Freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, freedom to petition,” Marcou said.

“Voting, voting, yes, voting,” Jonjua said.

Although it’s been a journey decades in the making, it’s been worth every minute.

"My heart has been American for a really long time. Today was just making it official,” Jonjua said.
 


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