Approximately 78 candidates from 30 countries participated in a Sept. 15 naturalization ceremony held in Tomball at the Lone Star College-Tomball Beckendorf Conference Center. This was the second time candidates gathered in Tomball to take an oath of allegiance to the U.S. and receive their certificates.

The overview

Last year, 64 new U.S. citizens were sworn in during a Constitution Day ceremony in Tomball.

This year, 78 new citizens were part of the naturalization ceremony, most of whom were youth and young adults. Candidates represented 30 countries, including:
  • 14 candidates from Mexico
  • 10 candidates from Vietnam
  • Five candidates each from Nigeria, Cuba and Afghanistan
Speakers during the event included:
  • LSC-Tomball President Lee Ann Nutt
  • Wallace Carroll, field office director for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Houston Field Office
  • Alison McNealy, branch chief of the USCIS Houston Field Office
  • Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner Lesley Briones
What they're saying
  • “When you make this promise, you're not just promising to support and defend America; you're taking on the responsibilities of American citizenship, and we hope that you do so. You'll have the right to vote once you reach voting age; you'll have the right to run for certain elected office; you'll have the ability to serve in public office or simply help out in your communities and serve on juries,” McNealy said.
  • “Today's the day that you took an oath to this amazing country. ... I believe deeply in the American dream,” Briones said. “I'm sure most of you believe deeply in the American dream. But what I believe the power is is helping it become the American reality, and that is something together that we can do and work on. All of our families deserve a fair shot. All of our families deserve the highest quality education and health care and jobs and economic opportunities. ... What I encourage you to do as you think of making the American dream the American reality for you, is focus deeply on your studies. You make this country a better place to live, and together, we will build and continue keeping the United States the greatest country in the world.”