317 become citizens at Folk Fair ceremony

Posted at 6:50 PM, Nov 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-20 19:50:16-05

They have overcome sacrifices and hardships, and today they have finally managed to become naturalized as citizens.

A large naturalization ceremony was held at the Wisconsin State fair during the Holiday Folk Fair Festival. The ceremony included 317 individuals who were naturalized, and they were from 75 different countries.

Many believed that the U.S. should not turn away the poor, weak, or people from a war-torn country – like Syria.

The group is celebrating all their new liberties and opportunities at a time when the U.S. House of Representatives attempts to halt the Syrian refugee resettlement program.

“I wasn’t a refugee but I came here before the war started. It was really devastating because they had people amputated,” said Lydia Stickels, who emigrated from Sierra Leon.

While she believes that everyone cares about and fears the terrorist attacks in that happened in Paris on November 13, she believes that the refugees should not be turned away.

"You can’t let one bad person dictate what others think about them,” said Anna Artiaga, who was brought to the U.S. illegally as a child and finally has become a citizen. 

“I feel the whole point of this country is to let people in and pursue their dreams."

Becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen when the United States has heightened security made their ceremony even more rewarding. 

“Luckily we are here and we are blessed that we are in America. And America is a great country,” said Stickels.