New U.S. citizens welcomed at Mt. Rushmore ceremony
KEYSTONE, S.D. (KOTA) - The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services welcomed more than one hundred new citizens Wednesday in the Black Hills. Immigrants from all over the world took the oath of allegiance in the amphitheater at Mt. Rushmore.
119 new Americans were officially welcomed as citizens Wednesday at the shrine of democracy. With the massive sculpture looking on, the new citizens took the oath administered by Magistrate Judge Daneta Wollmann.
U.S. Chief Judge Roberto Lange presided over the ceremony, telling the new citizens that despite some setbacks, the founding principle that all people are created equal remains strong.
“We have, at times as a nation, struggled to live up to that ideal,” Lange told the crown of new citizens. “But let me assure you, when you complete the oath, and when I greet you here as you walk across the stage, you and I will be equal as U.S. citizens.”
One of those new citizens is Andrew Wilson, originally from the Crimean Peninsula between Russia and Ukraine.
He said that being a Ukrainian at heart is difficult as the Russia-Ukraine War continues to drag on.
He’s now more grateful than ever to consider himself American.
“I’m happy over here, but I know they’re not happy over there,” Wilson said. “They’re struggling with the political situation and the war. We don’t know what’s going to be the end of it. We’re just praying for people, and always sending our thoughts for the best.”
The new citizens came from 41 countries across the globe, and all reside in South Dakota.
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