Veterans Day is Wednesday and the Obama administration is marking the holiday this week by hosting nearly 130 naturalization ceremonies across the country.
“Each year, on Nov. 11, the nation honors past and present members of the United States armed forces for serving our country and defending our freedoms,” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) explained late last week.
“USCIS marks Veterans Day with naturalization ceremonies that highlight our agency’s commitment to bringing immigration services to members of our military and their families,” it added.
USCIS has and will be naturalizing more than 10,000 new citizens — including veterans, service members and spouses of services members — from November 7 – 13.
Current and recently discharged service members are generally eligible for expedited naturalization. This fiscal year, which ended in September, USCIS naturalized 7,709 service members.
According to USCIS, since October 2001, USCIS has naturalized 109,321 members of the military, 11,069 of who became citizens at naturalization ceremonies abroad in countries including Afghanistan, Albania, Australia, Bahrain, China (Hong Kong), Cuba (Guantanamo), Djibouti, El Salvador, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Iraq, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Korea, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Mexico, the Philippines, Qatar, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
Since FY 2008 USCIS has further naturalized 2,650 military spouses at ceremonies in Afghanistan, Australia, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Chile, China (Hong Kong), Cuba, El Salvador, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kuwait, Mexico, Moldova, Norway, Oman, Panama, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.
USCIS will be holding naturalization ceremonies this week across the U.S. in dozens of cities from Miami, Florida to Portland, Oregon and Chula Vista, California to Scarborough, Maine.