Come Independence Day, thousands of immigrants will officially become American citizens. Last year, 24,000 became naturalized in ceremonies from June 24 through July 4, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Aside from cities from sea to shining sea, citizenship will be bestowed upon members of the military serving in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and Kabul, Afghanistan. In years past, hundreds of immigrants have proudly taken the oath to pledge allegiance to the flag, as this gallery shows.
Shyima Hall, left, takes the oath of citizenship during a citizenship ceremony in Montebello, Calif. Hall was brought to California in 2000 by an Egyptian family. She was forced to live in their garage and work as their servant for nearly two years before authorities freed her. (National Journal)
Navy sailor Maria Palacios holds up her right hand as she takes the oath of allegiance to the United States at a U.S. naturalization ceremony held at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base in San Diego County, Calif., Friday, Jan. 30, 2004. Palacios, a native of Mexico, took the oath along with 200 other marines and sailors at the ceremony that featured California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as the main speaker. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy) (National Journal)
Yasin Aden, front, a resident of Boston and immigrant from Somalia, places his hand on his chest while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance during naturalization ceremonies at Fenway Park, in Boston, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008. More than 3,000 people took the oath of citizenship Wednesday during the ceremony that was the first ever held at the home of the Boston Red Sox baseball team. (National Journal)
Hiep Doan, front, a resident of Boston and immigrant from Vietnam, places his hand on his chest while singing the U.S. national anthem along with some in the crowd during naturalization ceremonies at Fenway Park, in Boston, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008. More than 3,000 people took the oath of citizenship Wednesday during the ceremony that was the first ever held at the home of the Boston Red Sox baseball team. Doan became a citizen at the conclusion of the event. (National Journal)
U.S. servicemen Honry Ong, from left, of the Phillipines, Njoroge James of Kenya, Miguel Castano of Colombia, John Paul Reyes-Pina of Mexico, Jorge Gray of Panama and Steven Cauthon, right holding flag, of South Korea, take the oath of allegiance during a naturalization ceremony in Dallas, Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2008. The six joined other U.S. service personnel who represent 15 different countries as they too the oath becoming U.S. citizens. November has been designated Veterans Appreciation Month by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services department. (National Journal)
Juan Alfaro, right, who immigrated Honduras, Yuexiu Ou who immigrated from China, Angel Bayas, who immigrated from Ecuador, Milan Bosnic, who immigrated from Bosnia, left, and nine others take the oath of citizenship at the Betsy Ross House during a Flag Day and Naturalization ceremony in Philadelphia, on Wednesday, June 14, 2006. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) (National Journal)
Carmen Valiente celebrates after taking the oath of alliance to become a citizen at naturalization ceremonies in Hialeah, Fla. Friday, Sept. 11, 2009. There were 180 people from 26 countries who became citizens. (National Journal)
This article is part of our Next America: Communities project, which is supported by a grant from Emerson Collective.
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