NYC naturalization event honors Martin Luther King

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NEW YORK (AP) — Some New York City immigrants are becoming U.S. citizens in a ceremony honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Thursday’s naturalization ceremony is one of several being held nationwide over the next week in honor of the slain civil rights leader. Another on Friday in Atlanta will feature a speech from his daughter.

King would have turned 81 on Friday. The holiday honoring him is Monday.

It’s not unusual for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services department to hold naturalization ceremonies around holidays such as July 4 or at places with ties to immigrant history such as Ellis Island. But the week of events honoring King is a first for the agency.

Around the country, immigration reform advocates are connecting their efforts to the work of King and the civil rights movement.