Group of Minnesotans officially becomes US citizens at State Fair

The Minnesota State Fair is one of the most quintessentially Minnesotan events each year, and what better way to celebrate the fair than by officially becoming a citizen?

Monday morning, a group of around 25 people participated in a naturalization ceremony and officially became American citizens.

It’s the first time the fair has had naturalization ceremonies.

After taking the oath of allegiance, the new citizens are now able to vote, get a passport, run for public office and receive federal benefits.

“It was so emotional, I feel so welcomed. . . . I came here 19 years ago with my husband, he was coming here to study, and we decided to stay, and we have the opportunity to stay here and, finally, we have our citizen and we are so happy,” Loly Aldana, a new American citizen from Venezuela, said.

While Monday morning’s step was the final in the process, there was a lot of work that went in prior to the ceremony.

In order to become a U.S. citizen, people have to be a permanent resident for at least five years — three if married to a U.S. citizen. They also have to get a permanent resident card (“Green Card”).

The U.S. District Court says the countries most represented by the newest citizens are Somalia, Ethiopia, Mexico, India, Burma and Kenya.

Another naturalization ceremony is scheduled at the fair on Wednesday morning.