Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet welcomed a group of 13 soldiers and family members of soldiers as they became American citizens during a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) naturalization ceremony held at Fort Carson.
The new American citizens hail from all over the world including Colombia, Haiti, Malaysia, Mexico, Nicaragua, China, Philippines, South Korea, Togo, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.
“These individuals have bravely served and sacrificed for this country. It is a special and exciting moment to see them as they become a part of the fabric of this great nation,” Bennet said. “We are a nation of immigrants, and these ceremonies remind us of the important contributions immigrants make to our communities.”
“It is also a reminder that we have to continue working to fix our broken immigration system to ensure that we are welcoming the best and brightest into America and that we make it possible for other immigrants to share in this momentous experience.”
As a member of the “gang of 8” that co-authored the immigration reform bill that passed the Senate last year, Bennet has been actively involved in crafting immigration policy and working to fix our broken system. In Colorado, he brought farmers, ranchers, law enforcement agencies, faith leaders, and Latino advocates together to craft a set of principles called the Colorado Compact. The Compact helped inform work in the “gang of 8.”
Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is conferred upon foreign citizens or nationals after fulfilling the requirements established by Congress. After naturalization, foreign-born 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.
Naturalization for military members and their families is expedited. Over the last decade, roughly 93,000 members of the armed forces have become U.S. citizens.