USCIS to Welcome More Than 9,000 New Citizens During Annual Constitution Day and Citizenship Day Celebration
WASHINGTON - More than 9,000 candidates will become new citizens during 63 special ceremonies hosted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in recognition of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day on Sept. 17. As part of this celebration, USCIS is partnering with the National Park Service (NPS) to hold naturalization ceremonies at 22 national park sites across the country Sept. 13-24 under the theme, "Embrace Citizenship - Experience America Through Your National Parks."
"Each year we recognize Constitution Day and Citizenship Day to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution and to reflect on what it means to be a citizen of our great nation," said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas. "We continue to be enriched by the diversity of our individual backgrounds and we remain united in our respect for the Constitution and the foundational rights and responsibilities it enshrines."
Highlights for this year’s celebration include a Sept. 15 ceremony for 25 new citizens at the foot of General Grant's Tree, the largest giant sequoia in the General Grant Grove section of Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park in Three Rivers, Calif. This grand park was named in 1867 after Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th president of the United States.
On Sept. 17, approximately 60 new citizens will be welcomed at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis, Mo. The park is a memorial to the role the third president of the United States played in opening the West and to the pioneers who helped shape its history.
A cornerstone ceremony will also take place on Sept. 22 at the Lincoln Memorial, the majestic site dedicated in 1922 to the nation’s 16th president, a man who truly embodied the ideas of equality and opportunity for all.
"I can’t think of places more appropriate to welcome a new generation of American citizens than national parks," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. "These parks, which are owned by all Americans, are not only places of stunning natural beauty and abundant wildlife, but across this country the nearly 400 national parks preserve our nation’s fascinating history and protect our rich cultural heritage. From the Aztec Ruins National Monument in New Mexico to Ellis Island in New York City, national parks ensure our nation’s artifacts and records are protected for generations to come."
USCIS and NPS recently renewed their partnership to enhance the meaning and stature of citizenship ceremonies by holding naturalization ceremonies at NPS sites across the country. The agreement aims to introduce new citizens to the National Park System, which includes some of the nation’s most significant natural resources and cultural heritage sites. These historic and picturesque sites provide an ideal backdrop for citizenship ceremonies, where new citizens can learn about and reflect on American identity and the responsibilities of citizenship during this year’s celebrations.
Other national parks ceremonies will also be held at the Grand Canyon, one of the country’s oldest national parks; Homestead National Monument, which commemorates the Homestead Act of 1862 granting free land to citizens and new immigrants; and the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site in Iowa.
In addition, USCIS will host a number of special ceremonies in other locations across the United States to include Angel Island State Park in the middle of San Francisco Bay; at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum in Independence, Mo.; at the Clinton Presidential Library and Museum in Little Rock, Ark.; and at the historic Fenway Park in Boston, Mass., where approximately 5,200 candidates will become U.S. citizens.
To view a complete list of 2010 Constitution Day and Citizenship Day naturalization ceremonies, please visit www.uscis.gov/news.
For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit www.uscis.gov or view our blog, The Beacon, available at http://blog.uscis.gov.