James F. Battin Federal Courthouse

Photo courtesy of U.S. District Court District of Montana

BILLINGS, Mont. - On Thursday, 22 people from 20 countries became citizens of the United States.

It's the first naturalization ceremony in two years to take place at the James F. Battin Federal Courthouse.

The citizenship candidates originate from 20 countries: Bangladesh, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Italy, Lebanon, Mexico, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Romania, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, Ukraine and Vietnam.

They live in Anaconda, Bainville, Big Sky, Billings, Bozeman, Gardiner, Great Falls, Hamilton, Kalispell, Miles City, Missoula, Poplar, Stevensville, West Yellowstone and Whitefish.

A quartet from Skyview High School sang the National Anthem, and representatives from Senator Jon Tester, Senator Steve Daines and Representative Matt Rosendale were there to congratulate the new citizens.

Judge Timothy Cavan honored their courage and commitment.

He advised them to vote and remember the preservation of our democracy is not guaranteed.

"America is the land of the 'Dream Big' and the land of opportunities, that's what my husband always says. So, I'm catching my dream and doing whatever I want to do. There's a lot of chance over here,” said Watsachon Snyder, U.S. Citizen.

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