MISSOULA – It was a big day at the Missoula County Courthouse on Thursday as 48 of the newest US citizens were sworn in.
“America is a great country for you to make a new start for your life,” said Tam Nguyn.
“My words cannot describe how happy I am today. Probably the best day of my kids’ birthdays,” added Oleg Salimov.”
Nguyn is from Vietnam and Salimov is from Tiskistan and both came to America years ago, to start a new life.
Salimov’s journey started in 2012 when he came to the states on political asylum. He now works at the University of Montana and says he is overcome with emotions.”
“It was a relief for me to finally become a citizen. Knowing that I’m finally secure. I have a sense of stability. I have a sense of safety. and I don’t have to be worried about my life and a life of my family.”
Nguyn — who just completed her Master’s Degree and will be starting a new job as an electrical engineer on Monday — came to America five years ago with her family.
“You will have to overcome a lot of difficulties but you … if you’re brave, you’ll be encouraged to do and participate in a lot of opportunity to change in your life.”
“As you leave your prior citizenship behind and you become truly an American citizen, it doesn’t mean that you leave behind the experiences that you have and the customers that you have and you know the culture that you have, because all of those things combined,” Judge Kathleen Desoto told the new citizens. “Make America so great. We are different, but we are together.”
DeSoto presided over the 11 a.m. ceremony and Judge Donald W. Molloy presided over the 1:30 p.m. ceremony.
Originating from 18 countries and living all over Montana, the candidates were part of the second naturalization ceremony held this year in Missoula.
Information from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services:
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