15 new Americans sworn in as citizens before the first pitch at Phillies-Red Sox game

By Clare Hymes

/ CBS News

There are few more quintessentially American places to become a U.S. citizen than showing up for a naturalization ceremony at a Philadelphia Phillies baseball game against the Boston Red Sox before the first pitch.

With peanuts and Crackerjacks, only apple pie was missing from the collection of Americana at the stadium in the heart of the city where the Founding Fathers debated and signed the Declaration of Independence. Fifteen new Philadelphia-area residents from 11 different countries were sworn in as U.S. citizens Sunday at the game. The newly minted U.S. citizens are among the over 700 new citizens who have been naturalized at 11 professional ballparks this summer.

Naturalization ceremonies normally take place at courthouses around the country, but for the past four years, the U.S. courts have been bringing these patriotic occasions out of the courthouse and into communities.

Trending News

Previously, naturalization ceremonies have taken place in courthouses, schools and even National Parks like the Statue of Liberty, but this year, the federal courts commemorated this once-in-a-lifetime moment with America's favorite pastime.

"I think it's a great opportunity. I'm really glad the USCIS is having the ceremony at the Phillies' stadium. It's a very special ceremony for me," Raquel Luismaya, one of the newly-sworn-in citizens, told CBS Philadelphia, referring to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Fifteen soon-to-be-U.S. citizens swear allegiance to the U.S. in Philadelphia on Sunday, September 15, 2019. CBS Philadelphia

The federal courts say their goal was not just to create an unforgettable stage where new Americans can celebrate their status, but to also educate the community. The ceremony on the diamond was part of the court's educational outreach ahead of both Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, which are celebrated together on September 17.

"We hope we remind people of the tremendous privileges we have under the constitution," Federal Chief Judge Juan Sanchez of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania explained to CBS News. "And remind people that we have a responsibility to be engaged."

Sanchez, who was born in Puerto Rico before his family moved to the Bronx, used baseball as a way into his new community as a kid. "Baseball kept me safe," he said, and went on to play for City College before pursuing a law degree at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

He says the special ceremonies this summer have been a lesson, reminding the Americans who filled the stadiums of their civic responsibility, even when that means reporting for jury duty.

That's why on Sunday Sanchez asked the 15 Philadelphians to raise their right hand, and led them in an oath, swearing allegiance to the United States.

"Do you hereby declare on oath that you absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which you have heretofore been a subject or citizen?" Sanchez asked.

"I do," they responded in unison.

"Congratulations," Sanchez declared, "you are now citizens of the United States of America. You now share the same rights, the same privilege, the same obligations as any citizen of this great country."

The home team may have lost to the Red Sox 6-3, but these 15 Phillies fans left the field as winners.

First published on September 17, 2019 / 6:00 AM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

cbp-citizens.jpg villarreal-remain-in-mexico-820816-0915-consolidated-01-frame-467.jpg

Immigrants wait for hearings in "tent courts"

There are 66 mini courtrooms in Brownsville that are connected to judges across the country via video conferencing

11H ago villarreal-remain-in-mexico-820816-0915-consolidated-01-frame-467.jpg President Donald Trump Welcomes The Crown Prince Of Bahrain To The White House

Trump stops short of placing blame for Saudi oil attacks

The president stopped short of blaming Iran or any other entity for this weekend's drone strikes

11H ago President Donald Trump Welcomes The Crown Prince Of Bahrain To The White House screen-shot-2019-09-16-at-3-26-01-pm.png

U.S. bomb-sniffing dogs dying in Jordan, according to report

About 170 Explosive Detection Canines trained by U.S. officials are currently working abroad — and several in Jordan have died

13H ago screen-shot-2019-09-16-at-3-26-01-pm.png THAILAND-ENVIRONMENT-TIGER

86 tigers rescued from Thailand's Tiger Temple have died

Only 61 of the 147 tigers that were saved from the popular tourist attraction three years ago are alive today

14H ago THAILAND-ENVIRONMENT-TIGER FILE PHOTO: A sign displaying gas prices is seen in Los Angeles

U.S. gas prices expected to jump after Saudi Arabia attack

A strike on key oil facilities is likely to disrupt global energy markets and push up prices at the pump

15H ago FILE PHOTO: A sign displaying gas prices is seen in Los Angeles philadelphia.png

15 new Americans naturalized before first pitch at Phillies game

They were sworn in on the field of Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia before the first pitch Sunday

21M ago philadelphia.png US-POLITICS-JUSTICE-RIGHTS-ABORTION

Abortion clinics report record-high violence

One provider said the movement against abortion access feels similar to when Dr. George Tiller, a well-known abortion doctor, was assassinated in 2009

29M ago US-POLITICS-JUSTICE-RIGHTS-ABORTION casei-jones-and-her-4-kids.jpg

Missing woman and 4 kids found dead and her husband arrested

Florida authorities call it case of "pure evil" as bodies of Casei Jones and her 4 children found weeks after they went missing

2H ago casei-jones-and-her-4-kids.jpg 171011-en-duncan-cyrus-vance.jpg

New York prosecutors subpoena Trump's tax returns – AP source

The Associated Press reports Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance Jr. recently sent a subpoena to Trump's accounting firm seeking the last eight years of state and federal tax returns for Trump and the Trump Organization

6H ago 171011-en-duncan-cyrus-vance.jpg wcm-debtfree-ashley-2019-002.jpg

Cornell med school debuts free education for some students

Students often leave med school with massive student loans, but that won't be the case with these future doctors

6H ago wcm-debtfree-ashley-2019-002.jpg philadelphia.png

15 new Americans naturalized before first pitch at Phillies game

They were sworn in on the field of Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia before the first pitch Sunday

21M ago philadelphia.png US-POLITICS-JUSTICE-RIGHTS-ABORTION

Abortion clinics report record-high violence

One provider said the movement against abortion access feels similar to when Dr. George Tiller, a well-known abortion doctor, was assassinated in 2009

29M ago US-POLITICS-JUSTICE-RIGHTS-ABORTION U.S. Senator and democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren speaks at Washington Square Park in New York

Elizabeth Warren slams Trump as "corruption in the flesh"

Tells thousands in cheering New York City crowd seen as sign of campaign's growing strength that corruption "is breaking or democracy" and details her plans to combat it

1H ago U.S. Senator and democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren speaks at Washington Square Park in New York 171011-en-duncan-cyrus-vance.jpg

New York prosecutors subpoena Trump's tax returns – AP source

The Associated Press reports Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance Jr. recently sent a subpoena to Trump's accounting firm seeking the last eight years of state and federal tax returns for Trump and the Trump Organization

6H ago 171011-en-duncan-cyrus-vance.jpg trail-markers-newsletter-620x254-v2.jpg

2020 Daily Trail Markers: Warren unveils anti-corruption bill

Warren has enjoyed a day of consistent headlines, with the progressive, labor-focused group Working Families Party endorsing her over Bernie Sanders

7H ago trail-markers-newsletter-620x254-v2.jpg 0916-en-snlfiring-1934761-640x360.jpg

Entertainment

Shane Gillis fired from SNL

Comedian Shane Gillis was fired from "Saturday Night Live" just days after he was introduced as one of the show's new cast members. His departure comes after racist remarks made on multiple podcasts resurfaced.

11H ago 00:19 0916-en-snlfiring-1934761-640x360.jpg shane-gillis-podcast.png

Shane Gillis fired by SNL over racist and homophobic videos

A spokesperson for the show says Gillis "will not be joining SNL" and called the comedian's language "offensive, hurtful and unacceptable"

11H ago shane-gillis-podcast.png Ric Ocasek

Ric Ocasek, The Cars frontman, has died at age 75

The New York Police Department said there was no sign of foul play; the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer died from heart disease

13H ago Ric Ocasek giphy.gif

"Seinfeld" moving to Netflix in 2021

All 180 episodes will be available to stream — but you'll have to wait a while

14H ago giphy.gif brad-pitt.jpg

Brad Pitt asks NASA astronaut: Who was better — me or Clooney?

Pitt plays an astronaut in his newest film, "Ad Astra", which will be released nationwide Friday

16H ago brad-pitt.jpg Koehler Urges Higher Gas Prices

"Dark web" hackers could target gas pumps

The burgeoning "Internet of Things" connects consumers to the web through everyday devices — where hackers lurk

Sep 13 Koehler Urges Higher Gas Prices US-LIFESTYLE-WORKING

California's "Uber law" to affect far more than Uber

Proposed law could change the working lives of truckers, house cleaners, janitors and even freelance writers

Sep 13 US-LIFESTYLE-WORKING Apple iPhone 11

Apple reveals updated iPhones, watch and Apple TV series

The company's annual product event comes as it's selling fewer and fewer iPhones

Sep 10 Apple iPhone 11 istock88471337large.jpg

Startup can mine people's data from LinkedIn profiles

Company called HiQ Labs wins court OK to scrape profiles on LinkedIn for data about people's lives and connections

Sep 9 istock88471337large.jpg The Google logo is pictured at the entrance to the Google offices in London

48 states launch antitrust investigation into Google

From search to ads to data mining, "an ecosystem where people's whole internet experience is mediated through Google"

Sep 10 The Google logo is pictured at the entrance to the Google offices in London a47-vigliotti-the-blob-transfer-frame-3758.jpg

Pacific Ocean "blob" harming marine life

Rising temperatures are causing coral reefs to crumble and another blob could decimate the shellfish industry

11H ago a47-vigliotti-the-blob-transfer-frame-3758.jpg TOPSHOT-INDIA-ECONOMY-ENVIRONMENT

Climate change will be an issue for most voters in 2020 — CBS News poll

But compared to other issues, Democrats rate the climate change issue more importantly than Republicans do

11H ago TOPSHOT-INDIA-ECONOMY-ENVIRONMENT patta-climate-arctic-ice-mission-frame-2660.jpg

Scientists brave the Arctic to study climate change

The scientists are hoping the expedition will raise our understanding of climate change to a new level

16H ago patta-climate-arctic-ice-mission-frame-2660.jpg aquarius-reef-base.jpg

Studying Earth's climate by living under the sea

Scientists at an underwater observatory off the Florida Keys are examining the effects of climate change on sea grass beds and the health of ecosystems

22H ago aquarius-reef-base.jpg ftnfivethingseyeonearth.jpg

5 things to know about climate change

"Face the Nation" moderator Margaret Brennan explains five things you need to know about climate change and its impact on the world

Sep 15 ftnfivethingseyeonearth.jpg US-POLITICS-JUSTICE-RIGHTS-ABORTION

Abortion clinics report record-high violence

One provider said the movement against abortion access feels similar to when Dr. George Tiller, a well-known abortion doctor, was assassinated in 2009

29M ago US-POLITICS-JUSTICE-RIGHTS-ABORTION lily-mae-avant-brain-eating-amoeba.jpg

Girl dies from brain-eating amoeba after swimming

10-year-old Lily Mae Avant died overnight on Monday after fighting for her life in Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth

14H ago lily-mae-avant-brain-eating-amoeba.jpg screen-shot-2019-09-16-at-10-54-07-am.png

Woman swallows engagement ring in her sleep

Jenna Evans dreamed she had to swallow her ring to protect it from "bad guys" – except it wasn't just a dream

18H ago screen-shot-2019-09-16-at-10-54-07-am.png Opioids Alaska Lawsuit

Even with bankruptcy, Purdue Pharma may not be off the hook

Some states plan to object to a settlement in bankruptcy court and may pursue lawsuits against the Sackler family

14H ago Opioids Alaska Lawsuit Sleeping newborn

Hilton hotels expands paid leave for new parents

Company to offer 12 weeks paid time off for birth mothers and four weeks for dads — same for maids as for execs

20H ago Sleeping newborn 171011-en-duncan-cyrus-vance.jpg

New York prosecutors subpoena Trump's tax returns – AP source

The Associated Press reports Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance Jr. recently sent a subpoena to Trump's accounting firm seeking the last eight years of state and federal tax returns for Trump and the Trump Organization

6H ago 171011-en-duncan-cyrus-vance.jpg U.S. 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang attends Potluck Insurgency, a local democratic activist event, at the home of one of its members in Iowa City, Iowa

450,000 apply for shot at Yang's $1,000 per month offer

Presidential candidate's campaign sees wave of "Freedom Dividend" applicants seeking one of 10 $1,000 per month stipends

10H ago U.S. 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang attends Potluck Insurgency, a local democratic activist event, at the home of one of its members in Iowa City, Iowa pump jack in an oil field

What is the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?

World's largest stockpile of emergency oil has been tapped only three times — it may be time for a fourth

13H ago pump jack in an oil field Opioids Alaska Lawsuit

Even with bankruptcy, Purdue Pharma may not be off the hook

Some states plan to object to a settlement in bankruptcy court and may pursue lawsuits against the Sackler family

14H ago Opioids Alaska Lawsuit Sleeping newborn

Hilton hotels expands paid leave for new parents

Company to offer 12 weeks paid time off for birth mothers and four weeks for dads — same for maids as for execs

20H ago Sleeping newborn casei-jones-and-her-4-kids.jpg

Missing woman and 4 kids found dead and her husband arrested

Florida authorities call it case of "pure evil" as bodies of Casei Jones and her 4 children found weeks after they went missing

2H ago casei-jones-and-her-4-kids.jpg 0916-newspath-mono133-1934650-640x360.jpg

Florida serial killing suspect in court

Police in Florida say Robert Tyrone Hayes, 37, is linked to the murders of at least four women spanning a decade in Daytona Beach and Palm Beach County. Hayes, who has been charged with only one of the murders, appeared in a Palm Beach County court Monday and was ordered held without bail.

11H ago 01:00 0916-newspath-mono133-1934650-640x360.jpg suspect2.jpg

DNA leads to arrest of "Daytona Serial Killer" suspect

Police say a man they arrested in a 2016 South Florida murder is also linked to three other killings 200 miles away

12H ago suspect2.jpg 0916-ctm-snowdenqa-full-1934286-640x360.jpg

Edward Snowden: U.S. won't give me a fair trial

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden is shedding new light on his decision to reveal classified documents about the U.S. government's mass surveillance program. In 2013, Snowden disclosed government programs that collected Americans' emails, phone calls and internet activity in the name of national security. The U.S. government charged Snowden under the Espionage Act for his actions. A congressional report said his disclosures "caused tremendous damage to national security." In his new memoir, "Permanent Record," Snowden tells his story in detail for the first time and speaks about his life in exile in russia. Snowden, who now identifies himself as a privacy advocate, spoke with "CBS This Morning" in an exclusive U.S. TV interview. It's edited only for satellite delays, but not for editorial content.

16H ago 15:25 0916-ctm-snowdenqa-full-1934286-640x360.jpg former-university-of-illinois-at-urbana-champaign-professor-gary-xu.jpg

Former professor accused of sexual abuse: "He tried to kill me"

In lawsuit students claim university protected professor despite allegations of sexual, physical and emotional abuse

22H ago former-university-of-illinois-at-urbana-champaign-professor-gary-xu.jpg brad-pitt.jpg

Brad Pitt asks NASA astronaut: Who was better — me or Clooney?

Pitt plays an astronaut in his newest film, "Ad Astra", which will be released nationwide Friday

16H ago brad-pitt.jpg Harvest Moon

Friday the 13th to get full Harvest Moon

Lucky us – the rare occurrence hasn't happened in 19 years

Sep 13 Harvest Moon 091019-fire1.jpg

Fire delays rocket launch to the International Space Station

It's not yet known when the HTV-8 cargo ship will be launched to the International Space Station

Sep 10 091019-fire1.jpg cbsn-fusion-india-loses-communication-with-lunar-lander-thumbnail-1928725-640x360.jpg

India fails to land on the moon

India hoped to become the fourth nation to soft-land on the moon with their Chandrayaan-2 space mission. But their space agency, ISRO, lost communication with their lander just before the mission was complete. CBS News Space Consultant Bill Harwood joins CBSN to discuss the apparent failure.

Sep 12 05:43 cbsn-fusion-india-loses-communication-with-lunar-lander-thumbnail-1928725-640x360.jpg 090619-landing2.jpg

Indian spacecraft apparently crashes in moon landing attempt

India seeks to join the U.S., Russia and China as the only countries to successfully land a spacecraft on the moon

Sep 6 090619-landing2.jpg robert-frank-the-americans-trolley-new-orleans-1955-nga-promo-660.jpg

Photographer Robert Frank 1924-2019

A look back at the work of one of the most influential of photographers who created intimate, moody portraits of an America struggling to define itself in a post-war world

Sep 10 19 photos robert-frank-the-americans-trolley-new-orleans-1955-nga-promo-660.jpg Damage at the Abaco Beach Resort during the eye of  Hurricane Dorian in Marsh Harbour

Photos: Hurricane Dorian's devastation

"Everything's gone! Everything!" one woman said after Dorian slammed into the Bahamas

Sep 6 42 photos Damage at the Abaco Beach Resort during the eye of  Hurricane Dorian in Marsh Harbour raiders.jpg

The most valuable NFL teams in 2019, ranked

Thanks to some pricey TV deals, a relocation, and brand-new stadiums, the NFL has never been more valuable.

Sep 5 40 photos raiders.jpg Washington Redskins v New England Patriots

Highest-paid NFL players in 2019, ranked

These are the NFL superstars who earn the most cash this season

Aug 29 50 photos Washington Redskins v New England Patriots ashleyfallisparents.jpg

Ashley Fallis death: A family's fight for justice

Was the Colorado mother's 2012 death a suicide, as her husband maintains, or was it murder, as her parents insist?

Aug 24 15 photos ashleyfallisparents.jpg 0916-2020dailytrail-demscampaign-etz-1934849-640x360.jpg

Popular

Daily Trail Markers: Dems campaign in S.C.

Four 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls participated in the biennial Galivants Ferry Stump. The 134-year tradition hosted candidates for the first time on Monday. CBS News 2020 campaign reporter LaCrai Mitchell reports.

6H ago 04:46 0916-2020dailytrail-demscampaign-etz-1934849-640x360.jpg 0916-2020dailytrail-elizabethwarren-exm-1934832-640x360.jpg

Daily Trailer Markers: Warren holds NYC rally

Elizabeth Warren rallied supporters in New York City Monday night and highlighted her plan to take corporate influence out of Washington. CBS News 2020 campaign reporter Zak Hudak reports.

7H ago 01:44 0916-2020dailytrail-elizabethwarren-exm-1934832-640x360.jpg master-drinking-1920x1080-1927508-640x360.jpg

Drinking culture and American kids

On America's college campuses, there are epidemics we talk about and those we don't. When sexual assaults or fraternity hazing deaths make headlines, court cases follow and new rules are enacted, but less attention is paid to an underlying issue – binge drinking culture. CBSN Originals explores how drinking to excess is not only considered normal, but cool, and how for many young people "blacking out" is less a rarity than an every weekend occurrence – with grave consequences.

Sep 5 23:34 master-drinking-1920x1080-1927508-640x360.jpg cbsn-fusion-donald-trump-says-iran-is-likely-behind-attack-on-saudi-oil-plant-thumbnail-347436-640x360.jpg

Trump says Iran is likely behind oil plant attack

President Trump on Monday said Iran is most likely to blame for a series of airstrikes that crippled a major Saudi Arabian oil plant over the weekend. Damage from the attacks cut Saudi Arabia's oil production capacity in half and could cause global gas prices to skyrocket. Mr. Trump added that while he does not want to start a war with Tehran, the U.S. military is well prepared to respond if necessary. CBS News White House correspondent Weijia Jiang joins CBSN with more.

7H ago 06:56 cbsn-fusion-donald-trump-says-iran-is-likely-behind-attack-on-saudi-oil-plant-thumbnail-347436-640x360.jpg 0916-rn-ugaarkansasgame-axelrod-1934772-640x360.jpg

UGA fans honor Arkansas coach's late wife

The University of Georgia's school colors are black and red. But over the weekend, when Georgia hosted Arkansas State, fans wore pink. As Jim Axelrod explains, it meant the world to the visiting team's coach.

9H ago 01:33 0916-rn-ugaarkansasgame-axelrod-1934772-640x360.jpg