Fifty Mulrennan Middle School students helped usher in a new batch of American citizens this morning, leading some 300 immigrants in the "Star-Spangled Banner" and Pledge of Allegiance at the monthly naturalization ceremony in downtown Tampa.
The Oath of Allegiance was administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and shortly after 9 a.m. today at the Tampa Convention Center.
During the school year, an immigration services officer talked to the students at the Valrico school about the immigration and naturalization process as part of a social studies course.
This morning's citizenship candidates - from 71 countries - sang along with the students.
A second ceremony is scheduled for this afternoon at which four U.S. military service members from Tampa will become citizens. They will be among 400 candidates from 83 countries who will take the Oath of Allegiance.
Last year, immigration officials naturalized more than 740,000 people.