Wrigley Field hosts naturalization ceremony for 1st time

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Wrigley Field hosted 175 people from 45 different nations as they took the oath of allegiance to the United States on Friday, just days before the Fourth of July.

"It means a lot," said Marivic Marcher, who is from the Philippines.

"It's like a dream come true," said Jacobo Zarinana, who was born in Mexico.

"My husband was a citizen so I moved from India to here," said Vipal Patel.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is celebrating Independence Day this year by welcoming more than 9,400 new citizens in 170 naturalization ceremonies from June 30 through July 7.

"Today as we enter a weekend dedicated to celebrating the independence of these United States, let's us all take a moment to remember what that makes this nation so great, the heart and soul of our people," said Governor JB Pritzker.

Wrigley Field has been standing for more than 100 years, and this is the first time that the ball park has played host to a naturalization ceremony.

"This ballpark is a national landmark and it has seen a lot of history," said Tom Ricketts, the executive chairman of the Chicago Cubs.

Having the ceremony at Wrigley made it even more meaningful for Jose Gutierrez, who was born in Mexico.

"That's my place right there on the bleachers. That's where I come to all the games," he said. "Being here, there is no words."
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