City hosts 3rd annual Reception for New American Citizens

August 15, 2017
Leyda Becker - (270) 393-3766
Bowling Green, KY
City hosts 3rd annual Reception for New American Citizens

The City of Bowling Green will host a reception to recognize individuals who have become naturalized United States Citizens from July 2016 through September 2017.

Nearly 80 new Citizens have been invited to this recognition taking place on Tuesday, September 12 at 6:00pm at the Sloan Convention Center in Bowling Green, KY.  The reception is led by the City’s International Communities Liaison and will feature City Manager, Kevin DeFebbo, who will offer congratulatory remarks with each new citizen receiving a certificate of recognition signed by Mayor Bruce Wilkerson and recognized individually by City officials present.  New Citizens will also have an opportunity to register to vote during the reception.

 “Our last two receptions were a great success, we plan to do this recognition as a yearly event,” adds Leyda Becker, International Communities Liaison for the City of Bowling Green, “this is an effort to recognize that our newest constituents, recognizing that many legal permanent residents are eligible to pursue naturalization and become active members of our community who want to exercise their rights.” 

The City of Bowling Green has worked to identify recently naturalized citizens through the various community partners, such as Adult Education at SKCTC and the International Center of Kentucky, who have been actively involved with legal permanent residents through Citizenship classes and helping to process applications for naturalization.  “The process of naturalization is not simple, the eligible applicant has to submit an application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)  that has a costly fee, pass a citizenship exam, complete an interview process and pass a thorough background check,” explains Becker who became a US Citizen in 2011.

There are direct and indirect economic benefits to Naturalization.  According to Cities for Citizenship report:  “naturalization benefits local communities.  When an individual becomes a citizen it raises the earning potential; much of the new earnings flow into local economies,” additionally “Newly naturalized citizens see a rise in income of 8-11% within three years of achieving citizenship status in the U.S.”  According to New American Economy, the average non-citizen in Kentucky earns $27,608 per year.  If they naturalized, they could earn an average of $2,209 more per year.  A $115.1 million – aggregate additional earning if eligible non-citizens in Kentucky were naturalized.

The Reception for New Americans is not a naturalization ceremony, individuals being recognized have already attended an oath ceremony hosted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.  Generally, oath ceremonies for new Citizens in Kentucky are held throughout the year in Louisville, Kentucky.

If you or someone you know would like to be recognized during this year’s reception please contact the City of Bowling Green’s International Communities Liaison, Leyda Becker by Friday, September 1st, 2017 at (270) 393-3766 or email to be included in this year's reception.


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