Dozens Become Naturalized Citizens of United States During Ceremony in West Des Moines

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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa --When primary day arrives next Tuesday in Iowa, there will be a few dozen more residents eligible to vote for the first time.

On Friday morning, about 50 people became naturalized citizens of the United States.

A ceremony for the new Americans was held over the noon hour at the Jordan House in West Des Moines.

For those taking the oath Friday, it was one of the biggest days of their lives.

It was also a special day for those helping administer the oath.

"It means a lot to the new citizens and different things for each person I think," said Trisha Kempton of the U.S. District Court. "A lot of the time when they stand up, you see some tears and smiles. It means a lot to them which means a lot to us. This is probably the most fun thing we get to do in the courthouse."

The process of becoming a U.S. citizen can take decades for some along with $680 in fees.

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