MICHIGAN, United States (AP):
Twenty-five Michigan residents who entered the state capitol as citizens of 18 countries on Wednesday left as Americans.
Governor Rick Snyder was co-host for what his office said was the first naturalisation ceremony held at the state house.
Snyder's office said the governor was "affirming that Michigan is a place for immigrants to come and take part in the state's comeback."
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services was the other co-host, with western Michigan US District Judge Robert Jonker presiding.
"Michigan is proud of its diversity and rich history of immigrants who helped build our state," Snyder said. "We must create welcoming communities that leverage the full potential of all who live there, capitalising on different perspectives, cultures and talents for knowledge, creativity and innovation to thrive."
Snyder's office said about 13,400 people in Michigan will take the oath of US citizenship this year, and about a dozen naturalisation ceremonies are performed in the state each month.
Snyder cited statistics that he said show the importance of immigration to the economic development of both the state and nation.