(Courtesy of the city of Dodge City)
DODGE CITY, Kan. — Nearly 200 individuals from the region and neighboring states, representing 36 countries, became United States Citizens during a Naturalization Proceeding by the United States District Court for the District of Kansas on Thursday, June 20, 2019, at the Boot Hill Casino and Resort Conference Center. This is the second naturalization ceremony that has been hosted in Dodge City in the last five years. The previous ceremony was in 2016.
“The ceremony being held in Dodge City is a result of the partnership of the Southwest Kansas Coalition with our Kansas Federal Representatives and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services,” said Ernestor De La Rosa, City of Dodge City Assistant City Manager/Legislative Affairs.
The coalition was formed in 2009 and includes representatives from Dodge City, Garden City, Liberal, and Hays. Since their inception, the group has advocated the federal government for assistance to the “rural areas that are under-served and with large immigrant populations.”
The USCIS Kansas field offices provide mobile services periodically in the three SKC communities throughout the year for biometrics and citizenship interviews as part of the naturalization and other petition processes.
“It is important to bring these services to our area and be more accessible to our residents,” De La Rosa said. “If these services are offered here, we save our residents, traveling costs, time off from work or school, and other costs associated with making these trips to Wichita, Kansas City or Oklahoma City.”