Jim Hacking was recently asked by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to serve as Guest Speaker at a July 2013 Naturalization Ceremony. The event was held in the en banc courtroom of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Fifty-one men and women from across the globe became U.S. citizens after a brief ceremony.
In his remarks, Jim discussed the long journey of many steps that the new citizens had to take in order to reach this stage - coming to the U.S. as an alien, applying for lawful permanent resident status, being a person of good moral character and passing the naturalization exam. The important role that immigrants continue to play in America in 2013 was highlighted.
Jim mentioned his gratitude for all of the wonderful immigrants in his life - not only his many clients, but more specifically, his colleague Jennifer Shoulberg who came to the U.S. at a very young age from South Korea and his assistant Adela Zepcan, who came to St. Louis from Bosnia-Herzegovina. Most importantly, he discussed his wife Amany's journey from El Mansura, Egypt to the U.S. back in 1979.
The ceremony was presided over by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kathy Surrat-States, with assistance from Jennifer Roy of the U.S. Attorney's office. It was a tremendous honor and a lot of fun to be part of the celebration.