GREAT FALLS — Twenty-two people became American citizens in Great Falls on Wednesday, March 16, 2022, in a ceremony at the federal courthouse.
Reyna Atton of Great Falls was among the 22, and after being in America for a majority of her life she is thrilled.
Atton explained, “I know it may sound cheesy but the freedom aspect of it - because as an immigrant your presence here isn't always a sure thing it's not always a safe bet, but now having this official document saying, 'Hey, you're a U.S. citizen,' and having all those freedoms, and privileges, it feels really really good.”
Vimala Benson from Kalispell has been waiting for this moment since 2009: “I'm just so thrilled to finally feel like home here...grateful, and I love the freedom that we have here.”
The newly-minted citizens hail from the following countries: Canada, Germany, Guinea, Hong Kong, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vietnam.
They live in Billings, Bozeman, Chinook, Gibson, Great Falls, Greycliff, Helena, Kalispell, Lewistown, Missoula, Shepherd, West Yellowstone, Whitefish and Whitehall.