Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 4862, which permits Members of Congress to administer the oath of allegiance to applicants for naturalization. I strongly support this bill and am a proud cosponsor of this bill.
Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, more than 700,000 immigrants become U.S. citizens every year.
America is a diverse nation that was built on immigrants. As we all know, immigrants have made, and continue to make, lasting contributions to our society. In my home state of Georgia, immigrants comprise at least 11.9 percent of the state workforce. Thus, it is important to do all we can to create pathways for immigrants to become U.S. citizens. America is known for its rich diversity which is truly a source of strength and competitiveness.
At naturalization ceremonies, immigrants finally have the chance to become official citizens of the United States. Becoming a naturalized citizen U.S. citizen is a process that can take years to accomplish. Individuals must not only be knowledgeable about U.S. history, but be very patient. Naturalization is a special moment in their lives when all of their hard work, determination, and persistence ultimately pays off and they become U.S. citizens.
I look forward to having the opportunity to administer the oath of allegiance to applicants for naturalization. Immigrants have, and will continue, to make long-lasting contributions to the United States. Mr. Speaker, I strongly support H.R. 4862 and urge my colleagues to do the same. I yield back the balance of my time.