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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Immigrants to become citizens in Bellevue ceremony

Fifty local immigrants will become U.S. citizens at a naturalization ceremony at City Hall on Tuesday, Sept. 17. The event marks the third straight year the city has hosted a citizenship ceremony.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) Seattle field office will present the ceremony in partnership with the city and Bellevue Downtown Association. The hour-long ceremony begins at 11 a.m. in the Council Chambers.

Bellevue Television, Channel 21, will air the ceremony live on the city's cable access channel. It can also be viewed online.

Faisal Jaswal, a Bellevue resident and Assistant Dean of Student Programs at Bellevue College, will deliver the ceremony's keynote address. He will speak to his citizenship journey and the value new citizens bring to a community. Jaswal came to Bellevue as an international student in March 1982 from Karachi, Pakistan. Upon completing his education, Jaswal decided to make the "City in a Park" his home.

Today, about 30 percent of Bellevue's 130,000 residents were born outside of the United States. Mayor Conrad Lee, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in China, will offer welcome remarks on behalf of the city.

Other highlights from the ceremony will be one of the new citizens leading the Pledge of Allegiance, and an ensemble from the Bellevue Chamber Chorus performing the National Anthem.

The naturalization ceremony coincides with National Constitution Week and National Welcoming Week. The federal observance commemorates the adoption of the U.S. Constitution on Sept.17, 1787, and celebrates the contributions of naturalized citizens to American communities.


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