WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will welcome more than 18,000 new citizens during more than 180 naturalization ceremonies from Sept. 16 to Sept. 23 in honor of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.Museums, historic libraries, government landmarks and national park sites will provide the backdrop for this week-long celebration of citizenship and the achievements of our newest citizens.
“This is a time for all Americans to reflect on what it means to be a U.S. citizen,” said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas. “For the 18,000 people taking the Oath of Allegiance this week, it is the beginning of a privileged status as full participants in our nation’s democracy. Each and every one of these individuals can now exercise the rights and fulfill the responsibilities that help define United States citizenship.”
USCIS’s ongoing partnership with the National Park Service and a recent agreement with the Institute of Museum and Library Services allow USCIS to showcase some of the nation’s prominent landmarks and important community institutions during this year’s Constitution Day and Citizenship Day celebration.
National park sites hosting ceremonies span the country from the Springfield Armory National Historic Site in Springfield, Mass., to the Point Reyes National Seashore in Point Reyes, Calif. Other landmarks hosting naturalization ceremonies include the New York Public Library in New York City and the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul, Minn. For a full list of featured 2013 Constitution Day and Citizenship Day naturalization ceremonies and landmark locations, visit http://www.uscis.gov/news.
Additionally, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Rand Beers will administer the Oath of Allegiance at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington; Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez will welcome new citizens during a naturalization ceremony at Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento, Calif.; and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will deliver remarks at a ceremony at the U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh.
Constitution Day and Citizenship Day is celebrated each year on Sept. 17 in remembrance of the signing of the Constitution in 1787. Since 1952, Citizenship Day has been celebrated in conjunction with Constitution Day. Congress first underscored the significance of U.S. citizenship in 1940, when it designated the third Sunday in May as “I Am an American Day.” In 2004, Congress changed the designation of this day to "Constitution Day and Citizenship Day."
USCIS invites new citizens, their families and friends to share their experiences from the ceremonies via Twitter using the hashtag #newUScitizen. The President has also issued a Proclamationfor Constitution Day, Citizenship Day, and Constitution Week, 2013.