It’s the first weekend as an American citizen for dozens of people from the Midwest.
Thirty people from 16 different countries were sworn in on Friday during the naturalization ceremony in Rock Island, Ill.
Many said they feared the ceremony would be delayed because of the government shutdown. While trying to complete all of their paperwork, some said they were not able to get in touch with several offices, like the IRS.
The new Americans said they will use their citizenships to help get the U.S. back on track by offering a different perspective.
“If we want to avoid calamities, we need to work together and hopefully find a solution that might not fit everyone’s wishes but will address the majority of people’s needs,” said Alexander Gorbach.
Roughly 680,000 citizens are naturalized each year, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.