In this photo, Alejandro Mayorkas, left, director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, applauds the group of Marine recruits he had just sworn in as U.S. citizens at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island on Thursday.
The event was part of the Family Day Ceremony held the day before the recruits graduate from basic training. Mayorkas' appearance at the ceremony marked the expansion to the Marines of the successful USCIS Naturalization at Basic Training initiative.
Under the initiative, USCIS conducts all naturalization processing -- including collecting application forms, conducting the naturalization interview, and administering the Oath of Allegiance -- on the military base so that the recruit is able to graduate from basic training as a U.S. citizen.
The program is also in place with the Army, Navy and Air Force. Since September 2002, USCIS has naturalized more than 83,000 members of the military, including those in basic training and in 27 countries, including Iraq and Afghanistan.