A unique opportunity will occur at 1 p.m. Friday at the George Washington Carver National Monument, as 40 candidates will go through the final phase of the naturalization process to become U.S. citizens.
“This is the first time that GWC National Monument has hosted this ceremony,” said Lana Henry, management assistant to the monument. “There have been other national parks throughout the system that have been doing this prior to us. In fact, Ft. Scott (Kan.) National Historic Site has been hosting naturalization ceremonies for a few years. This is our first attempt and we are very excited. We are expecting 40 candidates to take the oath of allegiance and become citizens on Friday. Those folks have worked through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service to prepare for this monument. And it is a huge monument in their lifetime.”
Applicants for citizenship are from 20 different countries, including Mexico, New Zealand, Ethiopia and Cameroon. The Honorable Arthur B. Federman, U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri will preside over the naturalization ceremony.
“This is the culmination of quite a bit of what they had to do on their part,” Henry said. “The candidates would have done on their part to prepare to become citizens. So this is the actual receiving their citizenship paper. The judge will give them the oath of allegiance and they take the oath and then become citizens – at that very moment.”
The United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri retains exclusive jurisdiction to conduct naturalization ceremonies for applicants seeking citizenship.