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Archived from our former blog, The Beacon.
NBA Halftime Naturalization Ceremony: A Slam Dunk
|Swearing in new U.S. citizens|
On Feb 19, the Phoenix Suns basketball organization worked with us to host a unique half-time presentation for fifty very special new U.S. citizens. Because of the time constraints of an NBA halftime, we broke the ceremony into two parts. The first part took place at the Suns’ practice court, adjacent to the main arena, where the candidates and their families watched players warm up for the big game against the Houston Rockets, and waited for their ceremony to begin.
|Gerda Weissmann Klein addresses|
the new citizens
“Today you join me as U.S. citizens,” Klein proudly stated. “I wear this medal today for the first time in your honor.”
After remarks from local USCIS leadership, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” it was time for the big show. The soon-to-be new citizens just needed one final play to close out the game.
As they walked through the tunnel and took center court, Suns players, staff and referees high-fived and congratulated the citizens. Like a well-oiled machine center court was set, all fifty candidates had their right hands raised in front of thousands of cheering fans, and within minutes they were officially US citizens. With smiles on their faces and flags in their hands, it was truly a day they will remember.
|New U.S. citizens celebrate with the fans|