JCCC to host ceremony for 400 soon-to-be citizens
OVERLAND PARK – About 400 individuals from dozens of countries will become U.S. citizens on March 15, in a naturalization ceremony at Johnson County Community College.
Judge James P. O’Hara, chief magistrate in the U.S. District Court in Kansas, will preside over the 90-minute court proceeding.
The ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m. in the Carlsen Center’s Yardley Hall.
JCCC President Joe Sopcich will speak and the public is invited to attend. The ceremony also will be live-streamed in CC 211.
About 90 percent of the time, naturalization ceremonies take place in a federal courthouse, but a court sometimes takes the ceremony on the road.
“Having the ceremony on the JCCC campus annually is a great honor,” said Anita Tebbe, an organizer and retired JCCC professor and chair of legal studies who was instrumental in bringing the first ceremony to campus in 2012.
The number of participants at the JCCC events has grown four-fold since then.
In order to receive U.S. citizenship, a petitioner must be a lawful permanent resident for at least five years (some exceptions are allowed), possess a good moral character, master a basic knowledge of U.S. government and history determined by passing a civics test, be able to read, write and speak simple English, be at least 18 years old, have legal competence to take the citizenship oath and express allegiance to the U.S. government.