This week, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) celebrated America’s 235th birthday by welcoming more than 24,000 new citizens in nearly 350 naturalization ceremonies around the globe.
Watch a special video from USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas commemorating this important week for America and its newest citizens:
At a ceremony in Cincinnati last week, Director Mayorkas spoke about the spirit of independence: “This spirit, along with our founding ideals of freedom and democracy, has allowed us to achieve great success as a nation of immigrants. Immigrants come to America in search of opportunity, and by taking the Oath of Allegiance, they embrace the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship.”
Aboard the USS Midway in San Diego, 200 members of the U.S. armed forces took the Oath of Allegiance in front of a crowd of 2,000 people in a ceremony honoring Gulf War veterans.
Keeping with USCIS’s commitment to bring immigration services to the troops wherever they serve, members of the U.S. armed forces took the Oath of Allegiance to become citizens at military-only ceremonies in Baghdad, Kabul, and Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.
USCIS also held special ceremonies at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where both the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States were debated and adopted; the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum in Atlanta; the National World War II Museum in New Orleans; the USS Constitution in Charlestown, Mass.; George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens in Mount Vernon, Va.; and SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla.
Our newest Americans hail from all corners of the globe; some came to the United States to join family members, others sought professional or educational opportunities, and some in search of refuge from conflicts or hardships in their homelands. Each chose to make the United States their adopted home, and together, this week they all took the meaningful step of becoming U.S. citizens.