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New immigration month recognized

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services formally recognized the month of June as "Immigrant Heritage Month." The time period is meant to recognize immigrants on their path to citizenship. The month was unveiled in Miami's Little Havana during a naturalization ceremony that was occurring.

The USCIS selected 50 individuals to be sworn in as citizens during the ceremony, with their native countries ranging from India to Haiti. The ceremony was different from typical naturalization events as it sought to pay homage to former generations of immigrants who helped to make Florida and the United States more unique. Miami's mayor spoke at the event, saying that it is possible to become American while still remembering one's own unique background. He added that Miami is one of the most diverse locations in the nation.

Many of the individuals who were present discussed the reason why they wanted to become citizens of the United States, including being able to vote and have the freedom of speech. Individuals spoke of their connections to their homeland, such as one couple discussing how they visit their native land at least once a year, even though they are now becoming U.S. citizens. Another immigrant talked about the difficulty in the process of becoming a permanent resident and finally a citizen. A video named "Faces of America" was also presented at the ceremony. A call of the countries was presented after the film.

An individual who is not a citizen at birth may have different options available to him or her to become a citizen. One such manner is to apply for naturalization after being a permanent resident for the requisite time period. An immigration lawyer may provide advice about how to prepare for the naturalization test and the application process toward becoming a U.S. citizen.

Source: WLRN, "Becoming Citizens In Little Havana", Jephie Bernard, June 06, 2014

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