All Americans

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Klaus and Pia Van Benthem, 43 and 40

Country of Origin: Germany
Place of Residence: Davis

Pia: "I'm super excited. it's always been my dream to become a U.S. citizen. I'm stoked to be living in a country where there is so much freedom and people are different, and they are OK to be different."

Klaus: "Growing up in Germany, everybody was looking toward America to see what's happening here. I think the [term] 'Promised Land' is overused, but it's almost like that a little bit. To go live in the U.S., it was sort of a dream. It is a huge step in our life, for sure. One of the things Pia said when we first came to this country [15 years ago] was, 'Oh, these pickup trucks, they are awesome. I want one!' And I said, 'What do you need one for? They use too much gas.' We argued about it for years. [After the naturalization ceremony], I gave her a little model of a pickup truck—I had glued a key onto that model—and gave it to her, and the first thing she said was, 'You did not give me a pickup truck.' And I said, 'Yeah, I did.' It's a 2003 black Ford Ranger. She was pretty overwhelmed. Now she drives around in this pickup truck, and she's like, 'Now I'm an American and I have a pickup truck.' "

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