Football fans cheered when a federal judge welcomed 15 immigrants from nine countries as new United States citizens, during a November 13 naturalization ceremony hosted before a Los Angeles Rams game.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sandra R. Klein, of the Central District of California, administered the Oath of Allegiance to the new American citizens. The naturalization ceremony, the first at the 70,000-seat SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, was timed to coincide with Veterans Day weekend. Nine military service members and six first responders made up the group of new U.S. citizens.
“Those of us who were born in this country very often take the privilege of citizenship for granted,” Klein said. “We did not have to apply for it; we did not have to study for it; and we did not have to take a test to achieve it. I have no doubt that each person naturalized today has a very deep appreciation and understanding of what it is to be a citizen of this great nation.”
Federal courts conduct citizenship ceremonies regularly, which are open to the public and may be attended by hundreds and sometimes thousands of people. Throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, courts and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services have conducted many naturalization ceremonies outdoors and have limited the number of citizens at each ceremony to allow for social distancing and to comply with guidelines from federal and local health officials.
“It is such an honor and privilege to administer the Oath of Allegiance during naturalization ceremonies,” Klein said. “Two of my grandparents were naturalized citizens. They loved this country and were so proud to pledge allegiance to our flag. So, having the opportunity to administer the Oath during these ceremonies is extra special for me.”
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