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LAKE MEAD NATIONAL RECREATION AREA News Release
For Immediate Release: May 17, 2012
Release No.: 2012-17
Contact: Kevin Turner (National Park Service), (702) 293-8712
Marie Thérèse Sebrechts (USCIS), 949-500-1544
USCIS and NPS Hold First Naturalization Ceremony on Lake Mead
New U.S. Citizens Experience America through Their National Parks
BOULDER CITY, NV -On Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:00 AM, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the National Park Service (NPS), and the Boulder City High School National Honor Society will host a naturalization ceremony - the first ever on Lake Mead. U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge George W. Foley will preside.
The 24 citizenship candidates will board the Desert Princess paddlewheel boat and sail to a point within view of the upstream side of Hoover Dam and the recently opened Mike O'Callaghan/Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, where they will take the Oath of Allegiance on the waters of Lake Mead in the National Recreation Area.
The candidates are originally from 12 countries: Australia, Bulgaria, People's Republic of China, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Jamaica, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, Pakistan and the Philippines. They range in age from 20 to 59 years old. Five members of the U.S. Air Force will be naturalized along with the other citizenship candidates.
"The NPS is proud of our partnership with USCIS. I have hoped to hold a ceremony at Lake Mead National Recreation Area for some time and was thrilled when a student approached me with this idea as part of a Boulder City High School National Honor Society Project," said NPS Superintendent Bill Dickinson.
USCIS and the Department of the Interior's NPS kicked off a partnership in 2006 to welcome new citizens at such historic and picturesque locations and introduce them to some of the nation's most significant natural resources and cultural heritage sites. "We are honored to be able to hold this naturalization ceremony in such a spectacular location," noted USCIS Las Vegas Field Director Leander Holston. "This land is now their land, for new U.S. citizens to enjoy, treasure and steward."
By corralling the waters of the Colorado River, the dam brought electricity and water to millions, and transformed the American Southwest just as immigrants continually transform the United States. The reservoir created by the damming of the Colorado River became Lake Mead, resulting in a wondrous contrast of desert and water. Today, millions of visitors each year come to enjoy the many recreational opportunities found within the park's diverse landscape.
Almost 700,000 people naturalized as U.S. citizens during fiscal year 2011, including 8,505 in Nevada, 7,327 by USCIS Las Vegas Field Office, serving the counties of Clark, Esmeralda, Nye and Lincoln.