Prayer Controversy Leads to Cancellation of Naturalization Ceremony in N.J.

"A standoff between [Carteret] Mayor Daniel Reiman and federal authorities over his plan to include an opening prayer at a naturalization ceremony scheduled for Saturday in Borough Hall came to a head this week, leading to the event’s cancellation.  Reiman said yesterday that although he assured officials from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that the prayer would be nondenominational, the agency declined to allow the prayer.  "They refused to budge on that," Reiman said this evening.  But the mayor of this working-class town of 24,000 in central Jersey — whose motto is "Center of it All" — was equally adamant about including a prayer.  "I told them (employees of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) they’re no longer allowed to use city hall," he said.  As a result, the ceremony, which was intended naturalize about 30 people as citizens, has been moved to Newark, he said." - Star-Ledger, May 9, 2014.