The U.S. District Court in Rome only recently was finally placed in the statewide rotation of sites where these naturalization ceremonies are held — there are eight of them a year, four usually in Atlanta.
This time around about 50 new citizens were sworn in from almost 20 different nations — but they all come from the United States now.
This is the more-positive flip side of the immigration topic more typically in the news, that of illegal immigrants and what to do about them in many realms, including citizenship. Frankly, it is not that easy to get into this country legally and the waiting lists are years — even decades — long even for family relatives.
Few residents today are aware that in great likelihood their ancestors came to this soil without government permission — the first quotas were established in 1921, not counting the total ban on all those of Asian descent imposed in the 1870s. Moreover, the first naturalization act (in 1795) limited citizenship to “free white persons.” Change/improve immigration laws? Should sound pretty easy against that background.
Such new citizens, by the way, have to take and pass a quiz on U.S. government that, when given to natural-born citizens in various test runs, finds more than half of them failing.
Immigration is a problem and long has been. Understanding American principles and governing operations may well be a bigger one and at least the new citizens are going to raise the knowledge pool a tad.