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Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site celebrating new US citizens

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, in partnership with the federal courts, is hosting a naturalization ceremony Friday. It will be a pivotal moment in the journey for a group of soon-to-be citizens.

Around 100 people will gather to become American citizens at the site’s Citizenship Plaza in a ceremony that will be open to the public. Participants have already completed their citizenship tests, the final step in granting their U.S. citizenship — a goal many have worked toward for years.

Since 2003, the federal courts have naturalized 1,500 people at the site in downtown Indianapolis.

Lindsey Beckley, a Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site spokesperson, reflected on the late President Harrison and his involvement with immigration during his presidency.

“Benjamin Harrison was president when Ellis Island opened, so he presided over that foundational history. You know, when you think of people coming into America, you think of Ellis Island. So, he was right there for that, and he championed immigration,” Beckley said.

Beckley also says the diverse group of people adds to the fabric of our communities and the state of Indiana.

“So many people never get the opportunity to see people become Americans. You know, those born in America can take it for granted. I think, coming out to see people who have worked so hard and so long to become part of this nation, is just an extraordinary event.”

Attendees will be treated to a performance by Grammy Award winner Sylvia McNair. Judge Sarah Evans Barker will be present to preside over the ceremony.

The timing of this event marks the start of July Fourth weekend. The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site’s Independence Day Social will be held on the Fourth of July. The free event will include tours of the home’s first floor. The site has tours of the first floor, patriotic music, yard games, and ice cream for $3.

Reservations are required. Click here to find out more.