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USCIS Celebrates 'Month of the Military Child'

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YOKOSUKA, Japan - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) celebrated "Month of the Military Child" by holding immigration workshops for the military community and a special naturalization ceremony on the U.S. Navy base here April 22-23, 2010.

Kenneth Sherman, USCIS Field Office Director in Korea, presided during the naturalization ceremony for 36 Sailors and Marines, 29 spouses and three military children.

In his remarks, Sherman paid tribute to the service members and cited the important role family members play in the military community. "Military families face unique challenges, including multiple deployments by the service member," he said. "It is only fitting that USCIS continues to bring immigration services to the military and their families wherever they serve."

Before the conclusion of the ceremony, Sherman asked the children to lead the new citizens in the Pledge of Allegiance.

The new citizens hail from the following 25 nations: Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Liberia, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, and Vietnam.

From September 2001, through March 2010, USCIS has naturalized more than 58,300 men and women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

The National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2008 permits spouses and children of U.S service members to receive their citizenship overseas where their spouse or parent is stationed.  Previous immigration law required spouses and children to be physically present within the United States to naturalize. Since that law went into affect, USCIS has naturalized 592 military spouses overseas and 19 children have received their citizenship certificates during ceremonies in Germany, Japan, South Korea and the United Kingdom.

More information about USCIS and our support of the military is available online at http://www.uscis.gov/military.

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