Sixty-eight local immigrants from 15 countries are sworn in as U.S. citizens during a naturalization ceremony aboard the USS Missouri.
The 68 local immigrants who became American citizens during a naturalization ceremony aboard the USS Missouri battleship Thursday came from 15 countries. Thirty were from the Philippines, 10 from South Korea and nine from China.
U.S. District Court Judge J. Michael Seabright and Law Clerk Sara Haley greeted the participants. Seabright made welcoming remarks and administered the Oath of Allegiance.
Before earning the right to complete the naturalization process, immigrants had to pass English and U.S. civics tests. As a final step Thursday, they recited the Oath of Allegiance, which is more elaborate than the Pledge of Allegiance sometimes recited by Americans.
Equipped with tiny American flags and the words to the Oath of Allegiance, participants cross the threshold.
Nationally, 756,800 people were naturalized by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services during the most recently completed federal fiscal year.
Members of a U.S. Navy honor guard presented the colors during the ceremony.
After becoming an American citizen, Jiawen Liu hugs her U.S. Army supporters after the Thursday ceremony.
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