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Young immigrants celebrate citizenship in Maine

Associated Press Modified: July 18, 2012 at 1:15 pm •  Published: July 18, 2012

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Thirty-five children from four countries gave oaths of allegiance before a Portland Sea Dogs baseball game Wednesday during a special ceremony recognizing and celebrating their U.S. citizenship.

Sally Blauvelt, Portland field director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, administered the oath before the noon game at Hadlock Field. The Sea Dogs are the Double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.

Twenty-eight of the children came from Somalia, four from Congo, two from Germany and one from the Philippines. They ranged in age from 7 to 19, and all derived their citizenship status through their naturalized parents.

Following the oath, the children were presented certificates of citizenship. Maine Attorney General William Schneider also talked to them about the rights and responsibilities of being an American citizen.

Sea Dogs catcher Jayson Hernandez led the group in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.