As America celebrates its 236th birthday next week, 15 immigrants will be sworn in as new U.S. citizens during a naturalization ceremony at Bandelier National Monument.
This 11 a.m. event Wednesday, July 4 is one of more than 40 special naturalization ceremonies taking place across the United States in celebration of Independence Day, and the first one ever held at Bandelier.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Field Office Director Patti JMK Reynolds will administer the Oath of Allegiance to the new U.S. citizens.
Special remarks will be provided by Chief Ranger Tom Betts, Bandelier National Monument, and Los Alamos County Council Chair Sharon Stover.
The Rotary Club of Los Alamos will offer hospitality to the new citizens recognized at the ceremony and the guests in attendance, providing patriotically-decorated cakes, bottled water and paper goods to celebrate this special occasion.
The Jemez Pueblo “Sun and Fire” Dancers will perform traditional dances, and Eagle Scouts from local Troop 129 will provide the color guard.
Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is conferred upon foreign citizens or nationals after fulfilling the requirements established by Congress.
After naturalization, foreign-born citizens enjoy nearly all the same benefits, rights and responsibilities that the Constitution gives to native-born U.S. citizens, including the right to vote.
During fiscal year 2011, nearly 700,000 immigrants were naturalized nationwide.