PEORIA, Ill – Many people in Central Illinois celebrated the start of a new chapter in their lives.
Ninety people from 28 different countries officially become U.S. citizens Friday morning at the Peoria Public Library. This naturalization ceremony is the second one of the year. It was an emotional day for many who had long awaited this moment. As U.S. Magistrate judge Jonathan Hawley called out each country being represented in the room, people from various continents stood up. This was followed by their pledge of allegiance to the United States.
“It makes me want to cry just to see all these people who want to be part of this great dream. This country definitely brings a lot of different people together and creates so much diversity which enriches the culture as a whole in the nation,” said Mercy Woodfin, new U.S. citizen.
The new citizens were encouraged to register to vote, and they were able to do that right after the ceremony thanks to the League of Women Voters of Greater Peoria.