Immigrants Become Citizens on July 4

July 5, 2002

Source: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

On July 5, 2002 The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that this fourth of July in Seattle, "311 immigrants from 65 countries celebrated becoming American citizens at the Ethnic Heritage Council's 18th annual naturalization ceremony... The event drew hundreds more spectators and a long list of speakers, including Native American storyteller Grey Eagle [and] Gov. Gary Locke..." Baljit Singh, a new citizen and a Sikh who immigrated from India to escape religious persecution, said he was happy and relieved yesterday. "After terrorists attacked the United States last year... the 32-year-old Sikh said he saw people's attitudes take a sharp turn for the worse about young men who look Middle Eastern... Singh said... 'It became very apparent that it was better to become an American'... Seattle-area Immigration and Naturalization Service officials report 1,110 more applications for citizenship were filed in the first two quarters this year than were filed during the same months of 2001, when 4,153 were taken."