By Jessianne Castle EBS ENVIRONMENTAL & OUTDOORS EDITOR
GARDINER – On Sept. 5, 42 of the country’s newest citizens pledged an oath of loyalty to the U.S. while backdropped by Yellowstone National Park’s Roosevelt Arch. The citizenship candidates are originally from 23 countries scattered throughout Europe, Asia, South and Central America, and Africa, among others, and currently reside in Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.
Through a partnership between the National Park Service and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that began in 2006, new citizens are welcomed at parks, monuments and historic sites throughout the nation each year. According to USCIS, this partnership is a way of “connecting the next generation of American immigrants to the nation’s most historic and precious places.”
U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark L. Carman administered the “Oath of Allegiance,” and the crowd heard from guest speakers Pat Kenney, Yellowstone National Park deputy superintendent, and Kristi Goldinger, USCIS Denver district director.
Last year, USCIS naturalized more than 757,000 people, many of whom waited years to become U.S. citizens.