Twenty immigrants from Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Poland, South Africa, Thailand, the United Kingdom and Vietnam will take the oath of allegiance and become U.S. citizens Wednesday, Dec. 16, at the federal courthouse in Grand Junction. U.S. Magistrate Judge Gordon P. Gallagher will preside over the ceremony with assistance by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is conferred upon foreign citizens or nationals after they fulfill the requirements established by Congress. Naturalized citizens enjoy nearly all the same benefits, rights and responsibilities that the Constitution gives to native-born U.S. citizens, including the right to vote. During fiscal year 2015, 729,995 immigrants were naturalized.

Those being naturalized live in Aspen (three), Carbondale, Cedaredge, Clifton, Craig (three), Delta (two), Fruita, Glenwood Springs, Gypsum, Montrose, Olathe, Palisade, Rifle, Silt and Steamboat Springs. Some of their professions include bookkeeper, teacher's aide, hospital admissions, laborer, daycare provider, applications engineer and housekeeping.

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