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For all of the benefits, freedoms and privileges

By Staff | Sep 2, 2008

Tuyen Nguyen, at left, became an American citizen in August. Her husband Ho has been a citizen since 2002. Daughter Diep, 3, was born in Estherville. EDN photo by Mary Ann Menendez

Estherville is home to a brand-new American citizen!

On Aug. 13, Tuyen Nguyen went to Des Moines to become a naturalized American citizen in a ceremony under the auspices of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

She said for three months she studied materials provided by the INS. While the program follows a self-directed format, she had help with her studies from her husband Ho and friend Lois Fraser.

It was just a month before she took the citizenship oath that her father-in-law, Vang Nguyen, also fulfilled his wish to become a naturalized citizen.

Asked why she wanted to become a United State citizen, Nguyen said, “To have all of the benefits of being an American citizen. Now I can vote!”

She along with her husband own and operate the Dragon Buffet in Estherville. Nguyen arrived in Estherville four years ago this month. Her husband has been a U.S. citizen since 2002.

Nguyen spoke very little English when she arrived but it didn’t take her long to pick it up.

“I like living in America better,” she said. Born in Vietnam, she said the only thing she really misses from her homeland is her family, especially her parents.

Home is Long Xuyen City, located in the interior of Vietnam, and is a lot like Estherville with an agricultural base in the surrounding area and many businesses in the city.

At the ceremony, Nguyen was the only Emmet County resident. “There were 33 different countries represented,” she said.

So now the family of three which includes daughter Diep, are proud and happy to be Americans.

Diep was born in Estherville three years ago. Just like any toddler her age she has the capacity to talk and chatter happily, but with one extraordinary exception -she’s bilingual!