Over a thousand take the oath

Some of the hundreds of new U.S. citizens who raised their right hands and swore allegiance to the U.S. Constitution at Raley Field in West Sacramento on Tuesday (photo by PETER FOLKS)

NEWS-LEDGER — JULY 11, 2012 —

  Hundreds of immigrants took the oath to uphold and defend the constitution of the United States yesterday morning at Raley Field — the last step in what for many was a deeply meaningful commitment to become U.S. citizens.

K. Maurice Johannessen: himself an immigrant who became a U.S. citizen and was elected to local office before becoming a California State Senator. He's now retired. (photo by PETER FOLKS)

  Over 1,300 people were expected for the mass naturalization ceremony in West Sacramento. Featured speakers included Michael Biggs, field office director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Sacramento, and featured speaker K. Maurice Johannessen.

   Johannessen is a retired state senator who himself came to the U.S. from Norway. He’s the father of Mark Johannessen, a West Sacramento City Council member.

  Where did all these new immigrants come from?

  According to the Citizenship and Immigration Office, 235 of the new citizens came from Mexico, 226 from the Phillipines and 129 from India. Twenty-two of the participants were the sole representatives of their respective former nations.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012


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