Friday July 5, 2013

PORTSMOUTH (AP) -- There are 125 people who have become American citizens at a ceremony at Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, N.H.

Officials from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Field Office administered the Oath of Allegiance to the group on Thursday morning.

The participants originate from 57 countries. They live throughout the state.

The ceremony is part of the immigration agency’s annual celebration of Independence Day, which involves more than 7,800 candidates becoming citizens at more than 100 special ceremonies across the country.

"You come from diverse cultures, and this will enrich our cultural lives with the music, foods, and crafts you bring to your new country," U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said, addressing the new citizens.

"America’s greatness always has come from being a nation of immigrants. This is as true today as it was at the founding of this nation 237 years ago," she said. "I thank you for all you and your children and grandchildren will contribute to making America an even greater country."

Shaheen also discussed the bipartisan immigration reform package she voted for last week.

She said she thought it was important for the Senate to pass it before the Fourth of July, "just as becoming citizens on the Fourth of July no doubt makes this great achievement even more meaningful for you."


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