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Naturalization Ceremony

02/28/14

Naturalization Ceremony

JCCC will host naturalization ceremony March 28 

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – For the second year in a row, Johnson County Community College has been chosen to host a naturalization ceremony. 

The ceremony, in which over 200 people from dozens of countries and cultures become U.S. citizens, will be from 10:30 a.m. to noon, on Friday, March 28, in Yardley Hall, which is located on first floor of the Carlsen Center. The public is invited to attend. 

About 90 percent of the time, naturalization ceremonies are held in a federal courthouse. But sometimes the court takes the ceremony "on the road," said Anita Tebbe, professor/chair of legal studies at JCCC. 

Tebbe is also chair of the committee that coordinates naturalization ceremonies for the Johnson County Bar Association. She helped bring a naturalization ceremony to JCCC for the first time in February 2013. Winter weather closed down the college, but the naturalization ceremony went ahead as planned. 

This year, the 90-minute ceremony will include a keynote address from Dr. Jerry Cook, chair of the JCCC board of trustees. Cook, currently president of the Overland Park Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, is past superintendent for the Harrisonville, Mo., school district. 

Judge James P. O'Hara, a U.S. District Court magistrate judge in Kansas, will preside over the court proceeding. The event also will be streamed lived at http://video.jccc.edu/stream/stream2.html

What does it take to receive U.S. citizenship? A petitioner must:

  • Be a lawful permanent resident for at least five years (though some exceptions are allowed)
  • Possess a good moral character
  • Master a basic knowledge of U.S. government and history (determined by passing a civics test)
  • Be able to read, write and speak simple English
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have legal competence to take the citizenship oath
  • Express allegiance to the U.S. government.

 In Kansas, roughly 2,500 petitioners take the Oath of Citizens annually in a federal courtroom. When a ceremony takes place at a school or any other public venue, the setting is still considered a federal courtroom.

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