Celebrating Immigration with Independence Day

Jul 4, 2017

Thousands of people are being sworn in as U.S. citizens across the country during this holiday weekend.  One of the ceremonies happens Monday in Des Moines during the Iowa Cubs baseball game.  It’s coordinated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Spokesperson Tim Counts says combining immigration and Independence Day is a perfect union to honor new Americans.

In 2016 the Iowa Cubs hosted a naturalization ceremony. On Monday they will do it again for the ninth year.
Credit Meghan Gerke / Iowa Cubs

"When I talk to new U.S. citizens, one of the things they most often say is they want to participate more fully in American life and often that means being able to vote, really being able to have a voice in how the country is run," says Counts.

Counts says in recent years more green card holders are applying to become citizens.

Federal judges are administering the Oath of Allegiance during this extended Independence Day weekend in places like national parks, military ships, and sporting events. While other national holidays are also used for naturalization ceremonies, the most popular is the Fourth of July.

During the Iowa Cubs game, 29 people from 18 countries will become U.S. citizens as U.S. senior District Judge Robert W. Pratt administers the oath.