INA, IL (KFVS) - Fifty-five candidates became American citizens on Friday.
A Naturalization Ceremony was held at 10 a.m. on January 29 at Rend Lake College Theater in Ina, Illinois.
United States Magistrate Judge Philip M. Frazier will preside.
The Southern District of Illinois is one of three federal judicial districts in Illinois and is comprised of the 38 southernmost counties.
28 countries were represented.
For Tatiana Carrion, from Kirgizstan, she says this is a big moment for her.
"I'm so excited, I'm so emotional right no," Carrion said. "I'm so happy to be here and the ceremony was beautiful, I didn't expect it to be so good!"
She says she feels welcomed.
Carrion's husband, Jorge Carrion, is in the United States military and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2009. Their paths crossed when Jorge stopped in Kirgizstan, a place Jorge says is a usual stop for a soldier when deployed to Afghanistan. "That's when I met Tatiana," he said. "There was just this spark there."
Five months later, he proposed to her and they've been in love ever since.
Now married, Tatiana Carrion says this ceremony is an exciting time for her and her family and happy to call America home.
"It's my home and now I'm with my family experiencing the same," she said.
Carrion and her husband are expecting their first child together this April.
Although the ceremony is an official court proceeding, the court elects to host Naturalization ceremonies at various locations in the communities which the Southern District of Illinois serves. This provides opportunities for students and citizens to witness the Naturalization process first-hand and learn more about how immigrants to the United States become citizens.