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Naturalization Ceremony Welcomes 26 New Citizens

Naturalization ceremonies are joyous occasions. The happy scene plays out in courthouses across Minnesota as new citizens take the oath of allegiance and become United States citizens.

It is always a privilege for a Minnesota immigration lawyer to help make this possible for the new citizens.

Last week, U.S. District Judge Steven E. Rau traveled from St. Paul to St. James to preside at a naturalization ceremony for 26 new citizens from across southern Minnesota. The ceremony was held at the Watonwan County Courthouse.

The new citizens came from nine different countries of origin. Not surprisingly, some of these countries are Spanish-speaking: Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico and Columbia. Other new citizens came from African countries: Sierra Leone, Somali and Sudan.

The ceremony in St. James began with the national anthem. Judge Rau then congratulated the new citizens and swore them in with the Oath of Allegiance to the United States.

After a round of applause, the judge then called each new citizen up to receive documentation of his or her citizenship status.

There are numerous requirements that applicants for U.S. citizenship must meet in order to be naturalized. For starters, a person must be at least 18 years old and must have a good grasp of American history and the basics of the U.S. system of government.

The applicant must also pledge to uphold the U.S. Constitution.

Residency requirements are involved as well when someone seeks to be become a naturalized citizen. The wait can be long, though marriage to a U.S. citizen can hasten the process.

Source: "New citizens sworn in at Court House naturalization ceremony," St. James Plaindealer, 3-14-12

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