Candidates for citizenship had a picture perfect setting at Bandelier National Monument on the Fourth of July. It is the first time in its history the monument has hosted a naturalization ceremony.
The event was one of a series of United States Citizens and Immigration Services (USCIS) ceremonies commemorating America’s 236th birthday. More than 4,000 new citizens are being welcomed during special events from June 28 through July 10 across the United States and overseas.
Chief Ranger Tom Betts was the impetus behind the event as well as the keynote speaker. When he discovered that the USCIS had been hosting ceremonies in national parks for the last 10 years, he and Superintendent Jason Lott were eager to host one.