MILWAUKEE — With their right hands raised, 28 people became U.S. citizens at a naturalization ceremony at Marquette University Law School on Tuesday.
"It means a lot," said Adaobi Innocent. "It means that I can grow and do whatever I want to do."
Innocent is from Nigeria, which was one of 18 countries represented on Tuesday. She came to the U.S. in search of a better opportunity.
"I'll see my children grow. They will have opportunities to do things that they want to do, so it is big," Innocent said.
It's with that spirit that Honorable Nancy Joseph, United States Magistrate, encouraged the new citizens to help give back in some way to their new country, just as she had when she emigrated from Haiti as a young girl.
"Look around wherever you convene and say, 'how can I make America just a little bit more perfect than the way I found it?'" Judge Joseph said.
In many cases, these new Americans already are doing so. Isimeli Ravia is from Fiji and is studying for his masters degree. For many, the process can take years, and now Ravia is a citizen just like his wife and kids.
"I can enjoy that sense of peace to be with my family," Ravia said.