Everyone in Pierce County is invited to watch approximately 75 immigrants become American citizens during a ceremony on Sept. 20 in Tacoma.
The naturalization ceremony – the final step to attain citizenship – begins promptly at 11 a.m. at the Mount Tahoma High School Auditorium, 4634 S. 74th Street. The ceremony, conducted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, is free and open to the public.
Four years ago the Pierce County Auditor’s Office spearheaded a group dedicated to having the ceremony close to home. In the past, Pierce County residents had to travel to Seattle to complete their citizenship.
“During the course of voter registration and elections, there’s a lot of talk about patriotism, rights, and responsibilities. Too often, Americans take their citizenship for granted. A naturalization ceremony is a powerful reminder for us all to be better Americans,” said Julie Anderson, Pierce County Auditor.
Approximately 75 immigrants are expected to participate and become American citizens. Together with their family members and supporters, nearly 400 people are expected to attend.
The Sons of the American Revolution will be on hand in period dress and will post the colors. Pocket-sized books of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights will be given away with American flags and pins.
“Pierce County is proud of each and every immigrant and refugee who makes the tremendous effort to complete the naturalization process,” Auditor Anderson said.
ABOUT THE CITIZENSHIP CEREMONY
The ceremony is planned by the Pierce County Auditor’s Office, USCIS, and a number of local non-profit partners. It was made possible this year by a generous donation from the Haughton Family Foundation.
The ceremony date coincides with Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, which are observed on Sept. 17. This national holiday commemorates the signing of the Constitution and the recognition of “all who, by naturalization, have become citizens.”