Yesterday afternoon in the mailbox was a letter informing us that today at 10 AM in Tampa, FL that Soheyla Kovach, a near-daily contributor to MHProNews, was to appear for her citizenship ceremony.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is USCIS for short. Their staff has routinely been friendly and professional. Among the points USCIS officials in Tampa made today is that there are some 13 million residents in the U.S. who are living here legally, could apply for citizenship, but have not yet done so. For those who can, they certainly should.
During that ceremony today there were some 72 people from 30 different countries around the world. When the MC for the USCIS asked when other received their naturalization ceremony letter, almost all got it yesterday, a few had more than a days-notice. There were a few no-shows, perhaps because they didn’t find the letter in time to attend, or perhaps were caught in traffic. For those who wanted to attend with Soheyla, we apologize that there was so little advanced notice, as yesterday late afternoon to this morning was a flurry of activity, and there just wasn’t time.
The USCIS ceremony is well crafted. It is a mix of live portions and videos.
Among the videos was one called “Faces of America.” The version we watched today didn’t readily appear on a YouTube search. Here is another that was produced for the USCIS that is similar.
There is a video that the White House produced where President Donald J. Trump welcomes new citizens. After this video was played, there was great applause in the ceremony room in Tampa today.
A version of the Lee Greenwood, God Bless the USA video was played, this is a variation on the one used today.
The one actually used today starts at about the 29:45-minute mark is the Lee Greenwood video that was played at today’s citizenship ceremony. This was a video done at a naturalization ceremony in Las Vegas, and they cut away from Lee Greenwood to the actual new citizens. Something very similar occurred today in Tampa. Flags were being waved, and joy was on the faces of those present.
Prior to today, Soheyla was able to ‘support’ a candidate, but was not able to vote for a candidate. She registered to vote following the immigration ceremony and is looking forward to 2020.
It is not easy to put into words how thrilled most of those faces were today. If there was a frown in the room during the ceremony proper, it wasn’t visible.
The photos at the top were two of many in the citizenship ceremony room. The facility in Tampa was modern, clean, and well managed. As a side-note, those doing the scans of people entering the facility were a contracted service, not federal workers.
As the son of an immigrant myself, citizenship has always been precious. Today was another moment of pride, as we met people from around the world who came peacefully together to become Americans. Beautiful. Camera-shy Soheyla was and is thrilled. She’s out shopping to celebrate. 😉 That’s why yours truly is filling in at this time.“We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, analysis, fact-checks, and commentary.)
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By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.
Tony earned the Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma. He has earned multiple awards in manufactured housing and in history. He’s a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.
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