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Migrants pledge loyalty

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More people than ever will become Australian citizens in ceremonies across the nation on Sunday.

The federal government says a record 17,863 people will become citizens as part of Australia Day celebrations.

They will pledge their allegiance to the nation at some 400 ceremonies to be staged across Australia as it marks 65 years since the first citizenship ceremony was held.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison congratulated the nation’s newest Aussies on the 65th anniversary of Australian citizenship.

“The 65th anniversary of Australian citizenship is an opportunity for all of us – whether Australian by birth or choice – to pause and reflect on the privileges and responsibilities which come with being an Australian citizen,” he said in a statement.

Mr Morrison will preside over a ceremony in Sydney on Sunday to welcome 30 new citizens.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Tony Abbott will confer citizenship on 24 people at the national flag-raising and citizenship ceremony in Canberra.

Victoria will welcome the most new Australians of any state, with 4500 people to gain citizenship.