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County helps celebrate newest U.S. citizens

MEDIA RELEASE

The office of Immigration Information of the Mayor’s Office, in collaboration with the Exchange Clubs of Hilo, is coordinating its first Citizenship Day celebration on Friday, Sept. 17, 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., at Aunty Sally’s Luau Hale, 799 Piilani St., Hilo.

The ceremony will honor our newest Americans who were recently naturalized by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The public is invited to attend this free event.

Sept. 17 is Constitution and Citizenship Day, commemorating the signing of the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787, and it’s a day to express pride in our citizenship. In 2004, Congress passed legislation to make Citizenship Day a federal holiday.

In the past, USCIS (formerly INS) administered the citizenship oath-taking ceremonies at the Third District Court in Hilo. However the agency ceased its neighbor island outreach services over the past few years and now administers the oath of citizenship only in Honolulu, which makes it difficult for friends and relatives to attend.

The County’s Immigration Information Office organized the Cititizens Day celebration in Hilo, in partnership with the Exchange Clubs of Hilo, to allow families and friends to again celebrate what is considered a most profound day with those who choose to become American citizens.

The Immigration Office is urging anyone who recently took the oath of U.S. citizenship and would like to participate in the Sept. 17 Citizenship Day recognition ceremony to contact Rose Bautista, Immigration Information Specialist, by Friday, Sept. 14 to be included in the program.

The Immigration Office also encourages Lawful Permanent Residents (LRP’s or “green card” holders) who are interested in applying for U.S. citizenship to attend as the office will distribute naturalization application and study materials at the event.

For more information, contact Rose Bautista, 961-8220 or Email: rbautista@co.hawaii.hi.us

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