More than 300 new Americans at the Fitzgerald Theater

Jonathan Thulin
Jonathan Thulin, 23, was born in Sweden and moved to the United States when he was 3. He is becoming a citizen at the Feb. 21, 2012 naturalization ceremony at the Fitzgerald Theater.
MPR Photo/Tom Weber

More than 300 people are becoming U.S. citizens Tuesday in St. Paul during two separate ceremonies at the Fitzgerald Theater.

Federal judges Jeffrey Keyes and Tony Leung will preside over the ceremonies, during which 325 people from 60 different countries will take oaths.

We spoke with two of those people ahead of today's ceremony, to get some thoughts on what the day means to them.

Jonathan Thulin, 23, lives in Lakeville. He was born in Sweden and moved to the United States when he was 3; he has no accent whatsoever. He's a performing artist and is in the middle of a wave of naturalizations in his family. His sister became a citizen a year ago; his parents, three months ago; and his brother, two months ago.

Tafiva Sagan, 20, lives in Hastings. She was born in Ukraine and moved to the U.S. when she was 7. Unlike some stories she's heard, Sagan said the process to become a citizen was, for her, quite simple. She credits the fact that she paid attention during high school civics class as one reason why she was able to ace the test applying citizens must pass.

News Cut blogger Bob Collins wrote about the new citizenship test when it took effect in 2008 - you can try your luck.

Editor's note: The naturalization ceremonies are being hosted by Minnesota Public Radio, which owns the Fitzgerald Theater.