Largest Naturalization Ceremony in Rockford History

By: Tina Stein
By: Tina Stein

She's spent most of her life in Vietnam...and today she ditches her green card "and" her first name.

"It's very hard for people to pronounce my name and the second thing I say is if I become American...I should have American name," says Kathy Nguyen, formerly Triang Nguyen.

This newly-made American chose Kathy.

"I like Kathy...I met nice people with Kathy," Nguyen says.

Kathy is one of 286 immigrants granted citizenship today. This is the largest number handed out in Rockford history. The U-S Citizenship and Immigration Services say they were able to naturalize so many because their backlogs were cleared out...granting people like Kathy a new life as a recognized citizen.

"I can vote...I've become equal American citizen...and I feel that I can have my education...whatever I want to do."

Kathy's daughter Tien was also naturalized today. Her two sons plan on going through the process in the near future.

The new citizens came from 53 countries... mostly representing Mexico...Bosnia...and the Philippines.

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