UPDATE: Naturalization ceremony welcomes nearly 100 U.S. citizens

7 months 2 weeks 3 days ago Monday, April 22 2019 Apr 22, 2019 Monday, April 22, 2019 6:21:00 PM CDT April 22, 2019 in News
By: Melody Cox & KaMaria Braye KOMU 8 Reporters
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - Friends and family gathered Monday to see 87 people become United States citizens.

The United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri held the ceremony at 11 a.m. in the Missouri National Guard's Klefner Building. 

Tyeek Dixon was born in Jamaica. He said he couldn't wait to spread the news to his family.

"Well I just became a citizen so I'm excited. I can't wait to call and tell my mom she's not a citizen yet," Dixon said.

Tania Lock, the deputy clerk for the court, is in charge of giving the Oath of Allegiance.

She said the process is very difficult for applicants. 

"Most American citizens that are born here probably couldn't even pass the test that they have to take about the Constitution and their rights as citizens," Lock said. 

"It's good to know your history. The country's history. But for Americans they don't even know and I be asking my friends and they be like man 'I don't know this why do I need to know this.' And I'm like, 'well, it's your country you live here,'" Dixon said.

According to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, applying to become a U.S. citizen involves ten steps

Some of these include biometrics registration, completing an interview and submitting a formal application for naturalization, which is 20 pages long.

The citizens in Monday's ceremony are from more than 30 different countries. Lock said that's on trend with what she's seen.

"We have seen an increase in the amount of new citizens in the mid-Missouri area," Lock said. "Now, we host two naturalization ceremonies a year, with about double the amount of people becoming citizens."

The ceremony involved a color guard, singing of "God Bless America", introducing the applicants, and administration of the oath.

"Once they say the oath, you can see a sigh of relief on their face, and huge smiles and they're so excited," Lock said. "You can just really tell it means a lot to them."

The final step to becoming a new citizen is saying the Pledge of Allegiance.  

"It's a really great way for them to show their new citizenship right off the bat," Lock said. 

After the ceremony, many of the new citizens could not hold their excitement.

"At the end of the day even though the process might be long and hard its still worth it cause now your free you can do whatever," Dixon said.

Willie Epps Jr., a U.S. Magistrate Judge, said immigrants deserve recognition because of what they have contributed to the United States.

 "It's just so important and vital that we replenish this experiment that we call America with people around the world who bring their ideas, their culture, their religions here, it makes us a stronger country," Epps said.

The next Missouri Naturalization Ceremony is May 15th in Kansas City.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Tigers have found their new head football coach. Eli Drinkwitz from Appalachian State will lead... More >>
4 hours ago Sunday, December 08 2019 Dec 8, 2019 Sunday, December 08, 2019 6:47:00 PM CST December 08, 2019 in News
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - Restaurant owners are heading into the holiday season ready to handle the winter customers and... More >>
7 hours ago Sunday, December 08 2019 Dec 8, 2019 Sunday, December 08, 2019 3:43:00 PM CST December 08, 2019 in Continuous News
FULTON — Community members can gather at the Field of Joy in Fulton’s Veteran's Park to remember departed loved ones... More >>
9 hours ago Sunday, December 08 2019 Dec 8, 2019 Sunday, December 08, 2019 2:13:00 PM CST December 08, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Singing pine trees and dancing blue penguins are now lighting up the night throughout Binder Park in... More >>
15 hours ago Sunday, December 08 2019 Dec 8, 2019 Sunday, December 08, 2019 8:00:00 AM CST December 08, 2019 in News
AUXVASSE - A suspect has been taken into custody in Auxvasse on Saturday in relation to a shots fired incident... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 9:19:00 PM CST December 07, 2019 in News
FULTON - The 71st annual Christmas parade took over the streets of Fulton on Saturday afternoon. This year's theme... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 3:40:00 PM CST December 07, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Road signs honoring five Boone County veterans killed in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan were revealed Saturday. ... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 3:36:00 PM CST December 07, 2019 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY — One person was transported to the hospital Friday night after being ejected from their vehicle. The... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 3:17:00 PM CST December 07, 2019 in News
TIPTON — A shooting suspect is in the hospital after authorities shot him five times, according to a news release... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 8:50:00 AM CST December 07, 2019 in News
FULTON - Police are investigating after shots were fired at a Break Time in Fulton Friday night. According to... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 1:25:00 AM CST December 07, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - MU spokesman Christian Basi, confirmed the man who died after being hit by a car on College Ave... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 9:34:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Central Missouri Humane Society is waiving adoption fees this weekend, just in time for the holiday season.... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 6:36:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
MISSOURI - Missouri’s minimum wage rate is set to go up again soon. The state minimum wage will increase... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 5:21:41 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Mike Parson and First Lady Teresa Parson are inviting families to join them at the Governor's... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 3:50:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
BOONEVILLE - The Cooper County Sheriff's Office is asking travelers to find an alternate route on Highway 41 going to... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 3:02:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Former Columbia police chief Ken Burton has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor after originally being charged with driving... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 2:45:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
HALLSVILLE - Kari Hallowell, the mother of 17-year-old Hayden Holt, who died in an overnight car crash after being chased... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 2:04:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP)- Two U.S. officials have identified the shooter at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola as a second... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 1:53:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 49°
12am 49°
1am 49°
2am 49°
3am 48°