MILWAUKEE — On Thursday, 111 people from 30 countries walked into a Milwaukee Area Technical College auditorium. When they left, they were all part of one nation.
The United States gained 111 new citizens as MATC hosted a naturalization ceremony.
Some have waited as many as 30 years for the moment to say that they are an American citizen.
"I lived most of my life in this country. I feel this country is my country. My families are here. My kids born here. So I feel like this my country," Batricia Rodriguez said.
Now that they are citizens, they do not have to worry about visas or green cards anymore.
While many have been working in the U.S. for years before Thursday, the ceremony was a commemoration of hard work to get to this point.
"I came here to pursue my dreams. To get my share of the sky. So it means a lot of things to me and my family, and my kids were raised, basically born here," Gaurav Bansal said. "I'm proud to be an American citizen."
Directly outside the auditorium was a voter registration area. Many of the new citizens took advantage of the opportunity to officially participate in the American democratic process.
According to the Pew Research Center, one in ten eligible voters in 2020 are naturalized citizens.