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Social studies students learn from naturalization ceremony

December 20, 2013 – David Hahn

Naturalization Ceremony Inspires Minneapolis Social Studies Students

It’s been awhile since we last wrote about a naturalization ceremony. But they are still an important thread in this blog. After all, naturalization ceremonies are the celebratory culmination of a long journey for immigrants who have become U.S. citizens.

In our May 24 post, for example, we discussed a naturalization ceremony in St. Cloud at which immigrants from 24 different countries took their oaths of allegiance and gained U.S. citizenship.

In today’s post, we will take note of a similar naturalization ceremony. It occurred earlier this month in St. Paul and involved people from 18 different countries of origin.

At the ceremony in St. Paul, the presiding officer was Franklin Noel, a magistrate judge from the U.S. District Court. The ceremony was held at St. Paul Academy and Summit School, with 8th graders from a social studies class looking on.

Some of the 8th graders were from immigrant families themselves. One such student, a girl whose father came from Nepal, said she now has a better understanding of what immigrants who become naturalized U.S. citizens have to go through in order to obtain that status.

The 8th grade social studies teacher commented that immigrants who pass the U.S. citizenship exam often know more about the Constitution than many native-born Americans do.

To be sure, as we discussed in our November 15 post, the immigration test is sometimes criticized as requiring too much rote learning. There is little doubt, however, that most immigrants who pass the test and become U.S. citizens have worked very hard to get there.

Source: KARE 11, “A witness to history at St. Paul Academy and Summit School,” Kim Insley, Dec. 10, 2013

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