GRAND HAVEN, Mich. - 43 people became American Citizens at the Loutit District Library Thursday in the Grand Haven's 18th naturalization ceremony in two years.
"With today's total of 43, that brings us to 610 new citizens over the past two years," said John Martin, director of Loutit District Library.
22 different countries were represented Thursday, where friends and family gathered to celebrate the special occasion. A former political refugee himself, Mick Dedvukaj, District Director for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) helped swear-in the group with the Oath and Pledge of Allegiance.
"One of the greatest gifts we can give to somebody is to tell them, 'You are now an American Citizen,'" Dedvukaj said. "Last year we naturalized in the State of Michigan, around 1,600 individuals."
Each person is required to be a permanent resident for at least five years before applying for citizenship. An arduous journey for some, making the certificate of citizenship even more special. After the ceremony, each person was able to register to vote and sign up for a U.S. passport.
Below is an alphabetized list of countries for the Loutit District Library Naturalization Ceremony held April 20, 2017: