Dozens of local children become U.S. citizens aboard USS Iowa

More than 40 young people were granted U.S. citizenship Monday at a ceremony aboard the USS Iowa Battleship in San Pedro.

The ceremony was part of USCIS' annual Independence Day celebration when more than 65 Independence Day-themed ceremonies take place across the country.

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USCIS Los Angeles District Director Susan Curda administered the Oath of Allegiance to the grou,p ranging in age from 7 to 22. Family members and guests, some in tears, heard remarks from keynote speaker and special guest, US Senator Kamala D. Harris.

"Remember that immigrants don't just belong in America, immigrants built America," Harris said.

The ceremony recognized children and youth who gained citizenship when their immigrant parents became naturalized citizens.

The 41 young people came from 14 different countries, including Cambodia, Chile, China, Ecuador, Egypt, Ghana, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Venezuela and Vietnam.

This was the first ceremony of its kind aboard the vessel, which is known as "the world's greatest naval ship."

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