YELLOWSTONE — On Wednesday, September 7, Yellowstone National Park hosted a ceremony for 35 immigrants as they became official US citizens. 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.
Judge Carman presided over the naturalization ceremony which included family and friends, the national anthem sung acapella by National Park Service ranger Michael Breis, and a taped audio address by President Barack Obama. Guest speakers were Angela Barrows, Denver District Director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, Yellowstone National Park Deputy Superintendent Steve Iobst, and Assistant US Attorney Lee Pico.
“The National Park Service is proud to partner with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services to host ceremonies like this in national parks around the country. America’s national parks belong to every American citizen. We invite you to visit, to learn, to volunteer, to have fun, and to join us in the stewardship of these places that were entrusted to the care of the National Park Service 100 years ago,” said Yellowstone National Park Deputy Superintendent Steve Iobst.
The 35 immigrants sworn in during the ceremony originated from 15 different countries: Burma, Canada, People’s Republic of China, Colombia, El Salvdor, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Spain, South Africa, Tonga, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Serbia.
Naturalization is the process by which foreign citizens or nationals attain US citizenship after fulfilling the requirements established by Congress. According to statistics from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, in fiscal year 2015, nearly 730,000 immigrants became naturalized US citizens nationwide.