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Contact: Julena Campbell, (307)344-2015
Contact: Amy Bartlett, (307)344-2015
Yellowstone National Park hosted a ceremony for 37 immigrants as they became official US citizens on Wednesday, September 9. The Honorable Mark L. Carman, United States Magistrate Judge for the District of Wyoming, held court at the base of the Mammoth Hot Springs terraces near historic Fort Yellowstone under blue skies on Wednesday morning.
Judge Carman presided over the naturalization ceremony which included family and friends, a mounted color guard, the national anthem sung acapella by National Park Service ranger Michael Breis, and a taped audio address by President Barack Obama. Guest speakers were Lori Scialabba, Deputy Director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, Yellowstone National Park Deputy Superintendent Steve Iobst, and Assistant US Attorney Lee Pico. Sara Thane, a representative from the office of United States Senator Jon Tester, also delivered remarks on behalf of the senior senator from Montana.
"Yellowstone National Park is proud to host the naturalization ceremony because national parks are places that belong to every American citizen. We invite our newest citizens to visit, to learn, to volunteer, and to have fun in our national parks. National parks have been called 'America's Best Idea', and all citizens should learn about the shared heritage and shared stories that have been preserved for future generations," said Yellowstone National Park Deputy Superintendent Steve Iobst.
The 37 immigrants sworn in during the ceremony originated from 22 different countries: Belarus, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, China, Columbia, Ecuador, Germany, Guyana, Guatemala, Iraq, Lebanon, Lithuania, Mexico, Moldova, Nepal, Philippines, Romania, Thailand, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam. They all currently live in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.
Naturalization is the process by which foreign citizens or nationals attain US citizenship 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 US citizens, including the right to vote. According to statistics from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, in fiscal year 2014, nearly 655,000 immigrants became naturalized US citizens nationwide.
- www.nps.gov/yell -