A host of Iowa residents are preparing to celebrate their first Independence Day as new U-S citizens. Each took the oath of citizenship last Friday and U-S District Judge Robert Pratt greeted them after presiding over the ceremony. “I welcome you to citizenship, and I rejoice in the enrichment that each one of you brings to our land.” Pratt suggested that they learn the English language well. But he also encouraged the new citizens to rpeserve their native languages and heritage, saying that not only enriches the lives of their families but also enriches “all of America.” The new citizens included Fuada Aljic who emigrated eight years ago from Bosnia, and now lives in Waukee. After war there, she says there are no jobs and she wanted a better life for herself and her children. 65-year-old Ollie Slie arrived from Macedonia 25 years ago and says today has been worth the wait. He’s got family here, two boys and a girl and says they’re all happy. Samual Seyon came to the United States ten years to escape civil war in Liberia. Seyon says Iowa has been very welcoming and he’s thrilled to celebrate the Fourth of July on Tuesday for the first time as a citizen. More than 500 immigrants who participated in the latest naturalization ceremony in Des Moines.
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