The American Dream--it's why immigrants from all over the world make their way to the U.S. each year.
And Thursday, one by one, 20 immigrants from 13 different countries were sworn in as American citizens in a naturalization ceremony.
For one woman from China, giving her children a better life was the reason she became a U.S. citizen. She and her husband both work in Houghton at Michigan Tech.
"The children, when they go to school, they have lots of freedom. It's good for the children and the young kids studying here so they can learn in a different way and can speak and make their own decision freely," said new citizen Qingli Tai.
To become a citizen, immigrants had to hold a green card for several years, undergo a background check, and take a ten question exam. The application processing time to become an American citizen takes about four to five months.
"These ceremonies are very meaningful to the people that are participants in them. And that's what's meaningful to me because they have really crossed a very important step in their life. And there's just a good, warm feeling in everybody's heart when it's all done,' said Judge R. Allan Edgar.
After the ceremony, the new citizens celebrated with a red, white, and blue cake.