WICHITA — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will welcome 40 new U.S. citizens Friday, Sept. 18, at Wichita State University during Constitution Week.


U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Gwynne Birzer will preside, and the clerk of the court will administer the Oath of Allegiance.


The nation observes Constitution Day and Citizenship Day on Thursday as part of Constitution Week, which this year is Sept. 17-23. The commemoration honors both the signing of the Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787, and an observance that began in 1940 as "I Am an American Day." Citizenship Day began in 1952, based on a law signed by President Harry Truman, and in 1955, President Dwight Eisenhower proclaimed the first Constitution Week.


Naturalization is the most significant benefit USCIS offers. Immigrants who lawfully join the United States through naturalization express their attachment to the U.S. Constitution and commitment to assimilate into society.


Taking the Oath of Allegiance is an action that changes immigrants’ lives as well as their legal status. Only after taking this oath do immigrants become U.S. citizens.


This week’s citizenship candidates have come from Benin, Burma, Cambodia, Canada, Costa Rica, Djibouti, El Salvador, Eritrea, Kenya, Laos, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Tanzania, Thailand and Vietnam.


The citizenship candidates live in Andover, Dodge City, Garden City, Great Bend, Jetmore, Liberal, Sublette and Wichita.