On Veterans Day, Nov. 11, The Garden hosted its first Naturalization Ceremony welcoming 26 new citizens to the United States.
The Garden hosted the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the United States District Court for District of Arizona for the special ceremony lead by Magistrate Judge Camille D. Bibles who administered the Oath of Allegiance.
The 26 citizenship candidates originate from the following 17 countries: Afghanistan, Burma, Canada, China, Colombia, Eritrea, France, Iran, Kenya, Lithuania, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Philippines, Romania, Somalia, South Africa and South Korea.
“The Garden was honored to be the site for a Naturalization ceremony, the first time we had ever done so. It was very moving to watch 26 people, from 17 different countries, become American citizens surrounded by the beauty of one of the most iconic of all-American landscapes. The ceremony was especially poignant because it was held on Veterans Day, and a number of the new citizens were active members of the military or veterans,” the Garden’s Executive Director Ken Schutz says.
USCIS often participates in naturalization ceremonies at museums, schools, libraries and other notable locations to celebrate the conclusion of an immigrant’s journey to citizenship and honor the commitment they’ve shown along the way. Special venues, like the Garden, not only make these events meaningful for those who have voluntarily chosen to participate in American democracy and dedicated themselves to the country’s future, but they also reflect the strength and spirit of the U.S.