Missoula to Welcome 25 New Naturalized Citizens This Week, but Montana Has Very Low Naturalization Numbers
On Thursday, March 16, Missoula will welcome 25 new naturalized citizens and according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Public Affairs Officer Debbie Cannon, Missoula is seeing an increase in naturalization ceremonies.
“We usually only have three naturalization ceremonies a year there [in Missoula], it’s always in March, July and October, but I noticed that this year we’ll have them in February, March, July and November… so a little bit changed on the dates and they added one. I assume that means that they have more citizen’s coming through,” Cannon said.
Though the number of naturalized citizens in Montana may be rising, the state is still low on the list for top states for immigration and naturalization.
“For persons naturalized by state we go by fiscal year, so for 2013 and 2014, Montana was next to last of the 50 states then when you look at 2015, Montana had the least number of persons naturalizing and Wyoming beat us out,” Cannon said.
The 25 citizens scheduled for Thursday’s naturalization ceremony in Missoula hail from nineteen different countries including places as close as Canada, Argentina, Mexico and Brazil to far-flung countries like Australia, Pakistan, Israel, and Turkey.