About 200 Valley residents from 35 countries will raise their right arms and take the oath of U.S. citizenship Monday at Rio Salado Community College in Tempe.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services district director Robert J. Okin will preside during two ceremonies, and Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman will speak during the morning session.
Hallman said the ceremony should not be used as a forum to talk about illegal immigrants who bypass the naturalization process.
“This is about a celebration of people who have worked diligently to become citizens because they believe the United States is a good place to live,” he said.
An honor guard from Luke Air Force Base will present the colors and lead the Pledge of Allegiance.
According to a news release from immigration officials, this will be the first time that naturalization ceremonies have been staged at Rio Salado.
The following countries will be represented: Afghanistan, Argentina, Barbados, Bosnia-Herzegovina, British Virgin Islands, Cambodia, Canada, People’s Republic of China, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Iran, Israel, Korea, Kuwait, Macedonia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Somalia, Tanzania, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Uruguay, Vietnam and Yugoslavia.
More than 702,000 immigrants became citizens across the United States during fiscal 2006-07, including more than 9,700 in Arizona, according to the news release.
What: U.S. citizenship swearing in ceremonies
When: 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday
Where: Rio Salado Community College auditorium, 2323 W. 14th St., Tempe
Information: Call (800) 375-5283 or visit uscis.gov.