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Soon-to-be Americans ready for naturalization ceremony at Principal Park

Keeping the Independence Day celebrations alive into Tuesday, 25 people became United States citizens from the Iowa Cubs' home.

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Fourth of July may be over, but for immigrants in Des Moines, the celebrations continued through Tuesday for a naturalization ceremony at Principal Park. 

Local 5's Lakyn McGee spoke with two of the 25 people scheduled to become United States citizens Tuesday evening. A total of 15 countries were represented by those being naturalized. 

"My dream came true today," said Long Trinh, an immigrant from Vietnam. "I first came here in 2017. I really love this country. A very beautiful country. Everyone has enough food, good conditions to live in. That's why I really wanted to become a U.S. citizen."

"I wanted to do something for this country for bringing me here. So, that's why I wanted to serve this country and I joined the National Guard," said Princy Kaniki, an immigrant from Congo Kinshasa. 

Kaniki said he's been living in the U.S. for six years. 

RELATED: Biden calls for bipartisan action on pathway to citizenship

"Coming here and seeing what my dream was as a kid I was like, 'Why not?' And being in the National Guard there are more opportunities," Kaniki said. 

It's opportunities like that which drove Kaniki to become a naturalized citizen. 

"I thank God for this day because it was a dream yesterday and today it comes true. So, I'm thankful," Kaniki said. 

The naturalization ceremony is to commemorate Independence Day right before the Iowa Cubs start their game. In 2020, 625,000 people in the U.S. became naturalized citizens. 

RELATED: Refugee Impact: Where does Iowa's history begin?

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