(KUTV) - The Utah State Capitol was the venue for the first ceremony of 2018 that welcomed 132 new United States citizens who took the Oath of Allegiance.
The oath, found in the Code of Federal Regulations, was administered by Laura McNeer, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Salt Lake City Field Office director, and taken by people from 51 countries.
USCIS is the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the U.S. and conducted the ceremony, which included an address from the founder of Mindshare Ventures Bassam Salem.
He shared his story of becoming a U.S. citizen after leaving Egypt. He is currently serving on the executive committee of the Utah Technology Council.
Cytel Schultz sang the national anthem and Utah Rep. Norm Thurston served as master of ceremonies.
These newly naturalized citizens are given the same privileges, rights, and responsibilities that the Constitution gives to native-born U.S. citizens, including the right to vote.
USCIS encourages new citizens and guests to share their naturalization ceremony experiences and photos through social media, using the hashtag #newUScitizen.
USCIS stated in a press release that it has naturalized 752,800 people in the fiscal year 2016.