Juneau has 11 new American citizens. Immigrants from the Philippines, Mexico, Spain and South Korea took the oath of citizenship Thursday in U.S. District Court in Juneau. More than half were from the Philippines.
U.S. Magistrate Leslie Longenbaugh was the presiding judge. She said she looks forward to each naturalization ceremony.
“It’s completely inspiring to see people born in different nations raise their hands and swear an oath to become citizens of the United States of America,” she said. “Each generation of immigrants renews our national character and revitalizes our culture.”
For some, the journey to U.S. citizenship has been years and many said it had been a personal goal.
Maria Rosales has been in Juneau since 1998. She said she was happy to become a citizen, but one of her sons remains in Mexico. She said she has petitioned U.S. Immigration Services, but he has been denied entrance to the U.S. for ten years.
“I am so sad with this law. That’s why I want to be a citizen, to work and (do) whatever I can to review the laws, because the laws affected (sic) a lot of people,” Rosales said.
The next steps
Immigration officer Gary Johnson is based in Anchorage and comes to Juneau for naturalization ceremonies several times a year. He told the new citizens they should apply for their U.S. passport, social security card, and register to vote.
But he told them not to put a picture of their naturalization certificate on Facebook.
“What we found is that with social media people would zoom in on the information that’s on the certificate and take over that individual’s identify. They’ve got their name, they got their alien registration number, and they have their certificate number. It can cause a lot of problems for the new citizen,” he said.
Before they left the courthouse, most of the new Americans registered to vote, with the assistance of the Juneau League of Women Voters.
(Full disclosure: Magistrate Longenbaugh is on the KTOO Board of Directors)
- The totem pole is an icon of the Pacific Northwest. The carved art form showcases clan stories and family crests in museums around the world. After more than 30 years in the Anchorage Museum, a century-old pole from Southeast has made it back to Sitka, where curators are prepping a permanent home.
- One of the Sealaska regional Native corporation’s longest-serving leaders is stepping down. Rosita Worl says she will not run for another term after 30 years on the board.
- President Donald Trump’s budget outline calls for eliminating funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. The NEA has been a frequent target of Republicans, but U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski supports the endowment, and Tuesday she won the 2017 Congressional Arts Leadership Award.
- Ten years ago, Paul Manafort "secretly worked for a Russian oligarch who wanted him to promote Russian interests," the AP's Chad Day tells NPR.