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School of Law hosts naturalization proceedings for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Western New England University School of Law will host naturalization proceedings for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on Friday, October 28, at 12:00 noon in the Blake Law Center. Several immigrants from western Massachusetts will take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America, and be sworn in as U.S. citizens during the ceremony. The citizenship candidates include immigrants from; Azerbaijan, Brazil, Canada, China, El Salvador, Ghana, Haiti, India, Iraq, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Moldova, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vietnam.

 “The great strength of our country is its ability to attract new citizens from all around the world who come for their own personal reasons but who contribute their talents, culture, and values to enrich the country as a whole,” remarked Eric Gouvin, Dean of the School of Law. “The naturalization ceremony is a celebration of that strength and we are honored to host it.”

Dean Gouvin will present the welcoming remarks at the ceremony. U.S. District Court Judge Mark Mastroianni L'89, will rule on the motion to accept the new citizens, administer the Oath of Allegiance to the applicants, and challenge them to embrace their new privileges and responsibilities. 

Attorney Kathryn Foster L'09, will sing the National Anthem, and Tatenda Chitemerere J.D. L'15, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Zimbabwe, will offer welcoming remarks to the newly sworn in citizens.

The ceremony will conclude with the presentation of Citizenship Certificates and inspiring remarks from President Barack Obama, by way of videotape.

The new citizens will also receive voter registration forms they can fill out after the ceremony. Assistance will be provided. Massachusetts law has a special provision that allows new citizens to register as late as 4:00 p.m. on Friday, November 4. The voter registration deadline this year for others was October 19, 2016.  

This event is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a reception sponsored by the Hampden County Bar Association.