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

10 months 1 week 4 hours 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
ROCHEPORT - Missouri State Highway Patrol responded to a crash Wednesday morning on the Missouri River Bridge near Rocheport. ... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 26 2020 Feb 26, 2020 Wednesday, February 26, 2020 6:34:00 PM CST February 26, 2020 in News
MOKANE - Mid-Missourians living near the Missouri River are preparing for another summer of floods. "I hear it's going... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 26 2020 Feb 26, 2020 Wednesday, February 26, 2020 6:10:00 PM CST February 26, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- The city of Columbia and Boone County are partnering up to get everyone counted in the 2020 US Census.... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 26 2020 Feb 26, 2020 Wednesday, February 26, 2020 4:24:00 PM CST February 26, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A Boonville woman died after a two car crash on the Missouri River bridge Wednesday morning. Icy... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 26 2020 Feb 26, 2020 Wednesday, February 26, 2020 3:36:00 PM CST February 26, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The new location will allow the Boys & Girls Club of Columbia to serve 50 more children at... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 26 2020 Feb 26, 2020 Wednesday, February 26, 2020 3:16:00 PM CST February 26, 2020 in News
WASHINGTON, D.C (AP) - President Donald Trump is pushing back against criticism that his administration isn't doing enough to meet... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 26 2020 Feb 26, 2020 Wednesday, February 26, 2020 3:07:00 PM CST February 26, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (CNN) - Missouri deer hunters donated nearly 350,000 pounds of venison to food banks and pantries across the... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 26 2020 Feb 26, 2020 Wednesday, February 26, 2020 2:02:33 PM CST February 26, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A Columbia woman was arrested for drug possession after being struck on Highway 40 Tuesday night. Joanna... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 26 2020 Feb 26, 2020 Wednesday, February 26, 2020 1:43:01 PM CST February 26, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican who took over the state’s top post... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 26 2020 Feb 26, 2020 Wednesday, February 26, 2020 1:11:00 PM CST February 26, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - As the coronavirus spreads to different parts of the world, one MU student is seeing the changes in... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 26 2020 Feb 26, 2020 Wednesday, February 26, 2020 11:55:00 AM CST February 26, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The family of Mengqi Ji, who has been missing since October and is presumed dead, released a statement... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 26 2020 Feb 26, 2020 Wednesday, February 26, 2020 11:12:00 AM CST February 26, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Emergency responders have reported numerous crashes, slide-offs and other incidents related to slick roads Wednesday morning. One... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 26 2020 Feb 26, 2020 Wednesday, February 26, 2020 7:50:00 AM CST February 26, 2020 in News
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Bernie Sanders faced a torrent of attacks Tuesday night during a raucous debate that tested the Democratic... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 8:20:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - One group of former service men and women is making a difference across the state providing help... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 8:10:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
JEFFERSON CITY - New technology installed by Ameren could provide more responsive service if severe weather comes to Jefferson City.... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 6:45:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia neighborhood watch is still relevant despite social media and sites like Nextdoor. Neighborhood watch programs encourage... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 5:51:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
HOLTS SUMMIT - The American Cancer Society's annual "Stick a Fork in Cancer" campaign welcomes a new restaurant. BluTaco joins... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 5:34:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe today filed to run for election in 2020. Kehoe has served as... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 5:12:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 30°
7am 26°
8am 29°
9am 33°
10am 36°