Young immigrants and kids adopted from abroad are enjoying the Iowa State Fair today following a citizenship ceremony at the fairgrounds. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service held a ceremony to celebrate the conferring of citizenship on 43 young people.
Iowa State Fair CEO Gary Slater says the event is not an official fair activity, but he’s happy it takes place on the fairgrounds. “It’s such a joy for those that are receiving citizenship to be able to do it,” Slater said.
“And to do it at the Iowa State Fair, what a better place?” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service spokesman Tim Counts noted the children weren’t formally naturalized.
“They acquired or derived citizenship from their parents, either through adoption or through their parents’ naturalization,” Counts said. “So they didn’t need to come to a ceremony, but we do this… you know, it’s at the fair, they get free tickets, and it’s kind of a big family day out.”
Adults must pledge allegiance to this country in a naturalization ceremony when they become citizens. The children’s ceremony is an annual event at the Iowa State Fair.