Fifty new citizens were welcomed to the United States at a naturalization ceremony that was staged at Omaha’s Gerald R Ford Conservation Center in Nebraska on July 15th, the Omaha World Herald claims. Voter registration forms were then filled out by the newly inaugurated citizens following the ceremony, who are now faced with the task of adapting to American culture.
“Today is a great day for us,” claimed Iraqi immigrant Mohammed Alhamandani. “We feel it’s the first time ever that we belong somewhere. That we have a country. That we have a community. That we have something we’re attached to.”
People from as many as 25 different countries including Ethiopia, Mexico, Thailand, Canada, Iraq and Romania were given their introduction as US citizens and had to recite the 140-word oath of allegiance in order to state their loyalty to the United States. The World Herald says that the new citizens also had to renounce any allegiance to any foreign state and gave a pledge to defend and support the Constitution and the laws of the nation, as well as to serve in civilian and military roles whenever necessary.
In Nebraska, between 1,600 and 2,800 people gain US citizenship every year, according to the source, with around 757,500 being naturalized as US citizens all over the country in 2012. The great majority of these new citizens came from the Philippines, the Dominican Republican, China, India and Mexico. On July 10th a further 45 new citizens were welcomed at a naturalization ceremony that took place in Elgin in Illinois.