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Media Advisory: USCIS to Naturalize 298 New Citizens on Ellis Island at a Special Ceremony in Honor of Citizenship and Constitution Day

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Ceremony also part of National Park Service’s 100th Anniversary

NEW YORK — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the National Park Service (NPS) will host a naturalization ceremony on Ellis Island, part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument, on Friday, September 16th in honor of Citizenship and Constitution Day.  Robert Katzmann, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, will administer the Oath of Allegiance and Alejandro N. Mayorkas, the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, will give congratulatory remarks.

The 298 naturalization candidates originate from the following  53 countries: Albania, Antigua-Barbuda, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Liberia, Mali, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Korea, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, Sweden, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine, and Venezuela. Among those naturalizing is one member of the U.S. Military.  All live in New York City or the surrounding counties. As part of the ceremony, students from the Harlem Educational Activities Fund will recite the preamble to the U.S. Constitution.

This is one of more than 175 naturalization ceremonies held nationwide to celebrate Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, observed on Sept. 17, and Constitution Week. Nearly 33,000 candidates will become America’s newest citizens during the week-long observance, being recognized this year from Sept. 16 – 23. The annual commemoration honors the signing of the Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787, and an observance that began in 1940 as “I Am an American Day.”

In partnership with USCIS, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts is also holding judicial naturalization ceremonies nationwide to celebrate Constitution Day and Citizenship Day—two others in New York City this week. (One at Rufus King Manor, and another at the U.S. District court for the Eastern District of New York). Federal judges are presiding at naturalization ceremonies scheduled at courthouses, historic landmarks, and National Park Service sites. In addition to this ceremony at Ellis Island, there will be other ceremonies at iconic locations, such as the Lincoln Memorial and Yosemite National Park.

For more information about USCIS, visit or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis), Facebook(/uscis), Instagram(/uscis) and the USCIS blog The Beacon.


  • Alejandro N. Mayorkas, Deputy Secretary, Department of Homeland Security
  • Robert Katzmann, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • Phyllis Coven, New York District Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • Sidney H. Stein of the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • John Piltzecker, NPS Superintendent, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
  • 298 New U.S. Citizens from 53 countries (note – number is subject to change)

WHEN: Friday September 16, at 11 a.m.

Media leaving from Castle Clinton may ride the 9 a.m. ferry with the citizenship candidates IF they RSVP by 3:30 PM Thursday, September 15.

WHERE: Ellis Island Museum of Immigration Great Hall, 2nd floor (Map)

CONTACT: Katie Tichacek, USCIS Public Affairs Officer, 212-264-5098, 202-420-9581 (cell)

NOTE: Media interested in participating, please RSVP to Katie Tichacek (contact info above) on September 15, no later than 3:30 p.m. for those who want to take the ferry with the citizenship candidates or 6 p.m., for those who will take a public ferry.


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