The federal courthouse in Rock Island will hold two naturalization ceremonies on Friday.
The ceremonies allow documented immigrants to become U.S. citizens. The ceremonies come at a crucial time in the immigration debate. As previously reported, the U.S. Senate passed a bill back in June that would allow a ‘pathway to citizenship’ for the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants.
Local immigration reps say the immigration debate is likely on many immigrant’s minds. They say that House lawmakers need to pass a new bill too.
“A lot of people say the immigrants need to ‘stand in line,’” Casa Guanajuato Executive Director Michael Woods said. “Well, there is no line, and for those that do have a line, it may take them up to 23 years for them to be reunited with their families. That’s a problem.”
It would take immigrants 13 years to become U.S. citizens in the new plan. Woods says more than 200 Quad City immigrants become U.S. citizens a year. Friday’s ceremonies start at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the federal courthouse in Rock Island.