Immigration Law

New US citizens sworn in 100 feet underground

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Barclay Trimble (at the podium), superintendent of the Mammoth Cave National Park, addresses the new U.S. citizens at a naturalization ceremony inside Mammoth Cave. Photo from the National Park Service’s April 25 press release.

Twenty-nine immigrants from 12 countries were sworn in as U.S. citizens Thursday in an underground ceremony at the Mammoth Cave National Park.

Mammoth Cave Park Superintendent Barclay Trimble said the naturalization ceremony happenned during National Park Week, which made it “a little more special,” according to coverage by the Bowling Green Daily News.

“There’s not many people during these naturalization ceremonies that are going to be able to say they did it 100 feet underground in a World Heritage site,” he said.

U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Brent Brennenstuhl of the Western District of Kentucky presided over the ceremony hosted in an area of the cave known as the “Methodist Church,” according to an April 25 press release. A naturalization ceremony takes place every year in Mammoth Cave.

Eleven of the 29 new citizens were from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in central Africa. Other new citizens came from Bhutan, Burma, Cuba, the United Kingdom, Canada, Thailand, India, Liberia, Venezuela, Vietnam and Mexico, WBKO reports.

New citizen Jeremy Larry was a former resident of Congo.

“You just feel you have accomplished something great,” Larry told WBKO. “It’s a long journey to get there.”

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