Thousands of people are expected to become United States citizens in the coming week to mark U.S. Constitution and Citizenship Day on Saturday.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services says more than 38,000 people nationwide will become American citizens in 240 ceremonies in the week of September 16-23, the most of any period in 2016.
The larger than usual naturalization ceremonies began on Friday, and because the country is also celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, many of the ceremonies are being held in national parks.
Hundreds of people were sworn in as new Americans on Friday on Ellis Island, New York, as well as at the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials in Washington D.C. At the end of the ceremonies, federal judges led the applicants in the Oath of Allegiance that formalized their transformation into American citizens.
Those wishing to become American citizens must walk a long legal and bureaucratic road whose outcome is uncertain.
Applicants must also demonstrate basic knowledge of American history and how the American government and Constitution work, passing a 100-question citizenship exam.
U.S. Constitution and Citizenship Day takes place on Saturday, the 229th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia in 1787.
The observance began in 1940 as "I Am an American Day."