Nearly 14K immigrants to become citizens on July 4
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Nearly 14,000 immigrants will become American citizens in more than two dozen naturalization ceremonies this Fourth of July.

The thousands of immigrants, slightly fewer than last year, will take the oath of allegiance in 27 naturalization ceremonies held nationwide on Wednesday, according to ABC News.

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Joshua Hoyt, executive director of immigrant rights organization the National Partnership for New Americans, said that the holiday makes for an extra-special naturalization ceremony for new citizens.

“When oath ceremonies are tied to the Fourth of July, it’s a message that immigrants believe in this country,” Hoyt told ABC News. “It’s a beautiful and emotional thing.”

The 14,000 people who will become citizens this week is slightly down from last year’s 15,000, according to ABC News’s analysis of U.S. immigration data, but is nearly twice as many as in 2016.

While many naturalization ceremonies are held in public or government buildings, some cities opt to hold them in uniquely American settings, like national parks or historic landmarks. In Philadelphia, for example, the Daughters of the American Revolution held a children’s naturalization ceremony at the Betsy Ross House.

These ceremonies come during a particularly tense period surrounding the United States’ handling of immigration. The Trump administration has been under fire for its “zero tolerance” policy on illegal border crossers, which has resulted in more than 2,000 migrant children being separated from their parents.

And Hoyt’s group found that the backlog for citizenship application processing has increased by 88 percent since 2015, findings that were published in a recent report.