Nearly 200 immigrants from around the world became Americans Wednesday in a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.
They were sworn in by US District Court Judge William Young, library spokeswoman Rachel Flor said.
The new citizens brought family and friends to help celebrate, Flor said, swelling the group to almost 500 and filling the Dorchester library’s Stephen E. Smith Center. “It’s clearly a day that has been a long time coming,” she said.
The ceremony was held as immigration issues occupied the minds of many around the country, with Republican members of the US House of Representatives meeting behind closed doors Wednesday to strategize their response to a bipartisan immigration bill passed in the Senate last month.
Some conservative Republicans have said they would oppose any legislation that includes a pathway to citizenship for immigrants who entered the country illegally.
Sponsored by the US Department of Justice and US Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Boston ceremony included the presentation of each new citizen with a commemorative edition of President Kennedy’s inaugural address.
Flor said the library hosts naturalization ceremonies about six times a year.
“It’s always really a special event for the library to hold,” she said. “It’s always exciting for the new citizens, and they arrive clearly with a sense of pride, excitement, nerves. We just feel really honored to be part of such an important day.”