Twenty-one people from ten countries became United States citizens in a special 4th of July ceremony held at Saguaro National Park. The ceremony was the eighth of its kind held at the Park in partnership with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at Saguaro National Park.
The naturalization ceremony took place in the park’s visitor center at 9 a.m., with citizenship granted to immigrants from Brazil, Chile, Iraq, Canada, India, Mexico, Nepal, and the Philippines. Judge Bruce MacDonald presided over the naturalization ceremony.
Saguaro National Park Superintendent Leah McGinnis, welcomed the new citizens noting, “the Declaration of Independence’s words have long been a beacon of hope and opportunity for millions around the world. “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is important to never take these words and rights for granted.” McGinnis went on to say that, “These national park units are a collective expression of where we have been, what sacrifices have been made to get here, and how our values have been forged.”
“As this room so wonderfully demonstrates, we are a nation of immigrants,” remarked Judge MacDonald. The judge encouraged the new citizens to hold on to their culture, their traditions, their languages and their religious faith, stating, “No one should ask you to give that up.”
After the ceremonies, the new citizens and their friends and families celebrated in the Red Hills Visitor Center. Park staff and volunteers served cake and refreshments, donated by Friends of Saguaro, the non-profit fundraising partner of the park.