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Judges Welcome New Americans at Wrigley Field

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In the friendly confines of Wrigley Field, two federal judges welcomed 172 immigrants from 45 countries as newly minted United States citizens, during an Independence Day weekend naturalization ceremony hosted at the home of the Chicago Cubs, on Friday, July 2.

The ceremony was reported as the first of its kind in a Chicago sports venue. Chief Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer, of the Northern District of Illinois, helped organize the momentous occasion in Wrigleyville.

“What better place to welcome new citizens than Wrigley Field – known affectionately as the ‘Friendly Confines,’” Pallmeyer said in a court release. “We are thrilled to conduct this ceremony here, where we can extend a warm, friendly, and deeply sincere congratulations to 172 newcomers, who will celebrate Independence Day with us for the first time as U.S. citizens, and work with all of us to form a more perfect union.”

With the word “Welcome” appearing in several languages on the left field video screen, U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee, a naturalized citizen and the first Korean American to serve as an Article III judge in the Northern District of Illinois, administered the Oath of Allegiance to the new citizens.

Thousands of immigrants visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to be sworn in as U.S. citizens at naturalization ceremonies every year.

Federal courts conduct citizenship ceremonies, which are open to the public and may be attended by hundreds and sometimes thousands of people. Throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, courts across the country have conducted naturalization ceremonies outdoors and have limited the number of citizens at each ceremony to allow for social distancing and to comply with guidelines from federal and local health officials.

Related Topics: Events and Ceremonies

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