LITTLE ROCK - SPRIGDALE, AR -- Nearly 364 people became United States citizens during ceremonies on Wednesday, September 17, at the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock and the Jones Center for Families in Springdale.
The naturalization ceremonies were a part of the Constitution Day celebration, commemorating the signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787.
The group was so large at the Clinton Library, 300 people, that it was necessary to be split into morning and afternoon sessions to accommodate family and friends who packed the Library's Great Hall.
The morning session was officiated by U.S. Magistrate Judge Jerry Cavaneau, and the new citizens were addressed by the Honorable Jimmie Lou Fisher, former State Treasurer of Arkansas. The afternoon ceremony was officiated by U.S. District Judge Brian Miller and the address delivered by Governor Mike Beebe, who praised the group for having the tenacity to work through the citizenship process.
In Springdale, the Arkansas Citizenship Coalition (ACC) presented the Naturalization Ceremony at the Jones Center for Families where 64 new citizens from18 different countries will be sworn in.
All of the coalition members support each other to provide assistance to legal permanent residents in the citizenship preparation process. ACC’s goal is to make the naturalization process more accessible and make it a memorable experience for the new Americans receiving their citizenship. “There are so many good reasons to pursue citizenship, besides the right to vote, citizens are eligible for better jobs and more educational opportunities” explained Margarita Solorzano, HWOA executive director.
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