26 Immigrants Sworn In as US Citizens - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

26 Immigrants Sworn In as US Citizens

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BILLINGS -

Twenty-six immigrants from 20 different countries are now U.S. Citizens. They're from various countries including Belgium, Czech Republic, and Panama, and were sworn in on Thursday at the James F. Battin Federal Courthouse.

"I never believed that you could meet your soul mate online but I did," said Heydi Powers, who's love was strong enough to bring her to the U.S. to be with her now husband. Heydi and her husband married within a month of her arrival. Three years later, they had their first child, a son, and he's the ultimate reason she took on the naturalization process.

"I am becoming a US citizen because I want them to love their country. And I cannot teach them that love if I am not part of that country," said Powers. "I'm trying to lead by example."

The road to U.S. Citizenship can take years for some. For Heydi, who's originally from Guatemala, it took just six months.

Powers said, "the thing for me was putting my mind to it and jumping through all the things I had to go through to get where I am today. And really, when I studied for the test, to me it was amazing all the things I learned."

One thing she said she has learned and grown to love from living here, "You can have a lot of influence in your kid's education which is very different from back home."

Now, Heydi and more than 20 others will remember this day forever.

"I am ecstatic. I want to take pictures and post them on my Facebook. And I'm going to tell everybody, ‘Yep! I'm a US citizen now!'"

The last naturalization ceremony in Billings was in February when 17 immigrants became U.S. citizens.