MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyo. — In recognition of Constitution Week and Citizenship Day, both taking place over the week beginning Monday, Sept. 17, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will welcome 46 of America’s newest citizens during a special naturalization ceremony at Yellowstone National Park Sept. 17. They are from Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. Yellowstone National Park’s own U.S. Magistrate Judge, Mark L. Carman will administer the Oath of Allegiance.
This ceremony is part of USCIS’ annual celebration of ConstitutionWeek, recognized this year from Sept. 14 to 23, and Citizenship Day marked on Sept. 17. USCIS will welcome almost 45,000 new citizens at more than 260 naturalization ceremonies during this week-long observance.
During Constitution Week USCIS celebrates the connection between the Constitution and citizenship and encourages all Americans to reflect on what it means to be a citizen of the United States.
The citizenship candidates are originally from American Samoa, Australia, Belgium, Burma, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Guatemala, India, Iraq, Jamaica, Mexico, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Venezuela, and Vietnam.
Speakers include Dan Wenk, Yellowstone National Park superintendent; Kristi Barrows, USCIS Denver district director; and U.S. Magistrate Judge Carman. The Yellowstone National Park Mounted Color Guard will present the colors. Yellowstone Park Ranger Michael Breis will sing the national anthem. Francis Leland Pico, assistant U.S. attorney, will lead the Pledge of Allegiance.
USCIS has a partnership with the National Park Service under the U.S. Department of Interior to enhance the meaning and stature of citizenship ceremonies. USCIS and NPS first signed the agreement in September 2006 to connect America’s newest citizens to national parks throughout the country.
Yellowstone National Park is a 2.2 million-acre national park unit that protects thermal features, wildlife and wide western landscapes. To learn more, visit www.nps.gov/yellor follow YellowstoneNPS on Twitter,YouTube,Facebook,Instagram, and Periscope.
The ceremony is in Arch Park in Gardiner, Montana, the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Over the 30-foot-high Roosevelt Arch, an inscription reads, ‘For the benefit and enjoyment of the people.’ The arch became known as Roosevelt Arch after President Theodore Roosevelt, who was vacationing in the park, spoke at the ceremony to lay the cornerstone in 1903.
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 the fiscal year 2017, 716,000 immigrants were naturalized.
USCIS encourages new citizens and guests to share their naturalization ceremony experiences and photos through social media, using the hashtag #newUScitizen and #FindYourPark.
For more information, please visit uscis.govor follow us on Twitter(@uscis),YouTube( /uscis),Facebook(/uscis) and Instagram ( /uscis). For more information about the naturalization process and filing online, visit uscis.gov.