In order to become a U.S. citizen, residents of Los Angeles must first have their Application for Naturalization approved and pass their U.S. citizenship interview. They are then able to participate in a naturalization ceremony where they recite an oath swearing their allegiance to the U.S. In the oath, citizenship candidates renounce allegiance to other nations where they have had citizenship status before. They also pledge to support and defend the constitution.
A naturalization ceremony is a special occasion for those who have dreamed of becoming a U.S. citizen for many years. In a recent ceremony held at a U.S. courthouse, 12 immigrants became citizens. The judge asked each of them to share what it meant to them to become citizens. One woman said that she moved to the U.S. in 2003 from Iraq. She feels like the U.S. is a better and safer place for her and would like to bring her other family members to the states so they can enjoy the same freedoms she does.