More than 19,000 to take citizenship oath - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

More than 19,000 to take citizenship oath

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(RNN) – In recognition of Presidents Day, more than 19,000 people will become citizens in 135 naturalization ceremonies across the country Feb. 15 through Feb. 22, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Special naturalization ceremonies will take place at the California Veterans Memorial in Sacramento, CA, Feb. 15; Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site in Buffalo, NY on Tuesday; the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in Parris Island, SC and the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore on Thursday; and George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate, Museum & Gardens in Mount Vernon, VA, on the birthday of George Washington, which is Friday.

"Throughout our nation's history, the words and deeds of U.S. presidents have inspired Americans to uphold the ideals of freedom and equality enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States," said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas. "For Presidents Day, we welcome 19,000 new citizens who share these same ideals."

Naturalized citizens must study the presidents and American history and government in order to pass their citizenship exam.

For the most part, in order to become a naturalized citizen, a person must be age 18 or older, be a permanent resident usually for five years, be a person of good moral character, have a period of continuous residence and physical presence in the United States and be able to read, write, and speak basic English, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The requirements are relaxed if someone is 55 years old and has been a permanent resident for at least 15 years, is 50 years old and has been a permanent resident for at least 20 years or has a permanent physical or mental impairment that makes the individual unable to fulfill these requirements.

According to The Beacon, the official blog of USCIS, more than 650,000 people become naturalized citizens each year, on average.

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