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Naturalization Ceremonies at Central Library

Morning Ceremony

Afternoon Ceremony

There's No Place Like Home

The Memphis Public Library & Information Center served as the venue for two naturalization ceremonies hosted by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services on Tuesday, January 22, 2013.

Last year was the first year that the Library had two ceremonies in one day, and this year was no different. The two ceremonies, one at 11 am and the second one at 1 pm, were held in the meetings rooms of the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library.

The Library's first opportunity to collaborate with the naturalization ceremonies was in September 2011. Like that of a graduation, the immigrants who came to the United States to seek a Green Card in hopes of receiving permanent residency came from varying places to receive a certification of which they are proud. This significant day meant that they are now part of the United States, the "melting pot".

The process to become a US citizen is not a simple one. Depending on the country, a visa must be secured to enter the states, and there are varying visas including but not limited to work visas, student visa, and more. This visa grants a temporary permission of sorts to remain in the states and does have an expiry. One who wishes to remain must apply for citizenship for which there is often a waiting list. Immigrants hold fast their pursuit of citizenship because for so many it is the pursuit of a better life. Michael Jackson's We Are the World lyrics are a good illustration of the naturalization ceremony showing how ". . . the world . . . comes together as one."

In support of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Memphis Public Library & Information Center offers citizenship workshops at various branches to assist customers. Visit the website at memphislibrary.org for specific branches.