As part of the New Tulsans Initiative, the City of Tulsa began hosting United States Naturalization Ceremonies in 2019 with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at Tulsa City Hall.
The Naturalization Ceremony was held Thursday, Dec. 12, 11 a.m. at Tulsa City Hall in the Tulsa Council Chambers. During the ceremony, 40 new citizens, representing 14 different countries, gave their oath of allegiance to the United States. Mayor G.T. Bynum served as the keynote speaker awith Tulsa City Councilors in attendance.
Beginning in Jan. 2020, Naturalization ceremonies will be held at Tulsa City Hall on the second Thursday of every month at 11 a.m.
Under the New Tulsans Welcoming Plan, the civic engagement vision states all residents, including immigrants, fully participate in civic life by increasing access to leadership and democratic spaces.
According to The National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), when immigrants seek to become U.S. residents, they have made an affirmative decision to study English, U.S. history and government, and swear allegiance to the U.S. Constitution. Naturalized citizens have higher income, generate more taxes, connect with their neighbors more easily and assume their full rights and responsibilities in this country, to proudly say America is Home.
The City of Tulsa and Tulsa YWCA announced last year that Tulsa received a $50,000 America is Home grant from NPNA that provides support to navigate the naturalization process including legal services, English as a second Language (ESL) and civics-based citizenship classes for eligible immigrant permanent residents seeking to become U.S. citizens. The grant was matched locally by the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, the Coretz Family Foundation and the George Kaiser Family Foundation.
To become naturalized, residents must be 18 years or older, be a permanent resident for several years and demonstrate an attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution. Residents must also read, write and speak basic English and have a basic understanding of U.S. history and government. It costs at least $725 to go through the naturalization process and most residents incur attorney fees.
For more information about the New Tulsans Initiative, visit: www.cityoftulsa.org/newtulsans