US to welcome new citizens in Constitution Week

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is celebrating Constitution Week by hosting nearly 240 naturalisation ceremonies across the country.

More than 38,000 candidates will become America’s newest citizens during the week-long observance, being recognised this year between 16th to 23rd September. The annual commemoration honours the signing of the Constitution on 17th Sept 1787, and an observance that began in 1940 as “I Am an American Day.”

During Constitution Week, the US celebrates the connection between the Constitution and citizenship and reflects on what it means to be a citizen of the United States.

The Constitution plays a meaningful role in the lives of new Americans. It not only establishes the rule of law, but also creates the framework for an immigration system that enables immigrants to become full citizens with the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as any other.

“I’m proud to have the honour of administering the Oath of Allegiance at naturalisation ceremonies across the country, where every day, new Americans vow to support and defend the Constitution of this great nation,” USCIS Director León Rodríguez said. “This Constitution Week, more than 38,000 more people will take the Oath and become America’s newest citizens, adding to the diversity, strength and character of our country.”

USCIS’ Constitution Week activities this year will feature a naturalisation ceremony at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC – the 100th ceremony to be held at a national or historic site during the National Park Service’s (NPS) centennial year. During this event, Director Rodríguez will administer the Oath of Allegiance and deliver congratulatory remarks to 50 new Americans.

Ceremonies like this one highlight USCIS’ partnership with NPS to hold more than 100 naturalisation ceremonies in national parks and historic sites this year as a part of NPS’ centennial celebration. USCIS has partnered with NPS since 2006 to honour America’s history and the places NPS is charged to protect.

In partnership with USCIS, the Administrative Office of the US Courts is also holding judicial naturalisation ceremonies nationwide to celebrate Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. Federal judges are presiding at naturalisation ceremonies scheduled at courthouses, historic landmarks, and NPS sites, including such iconic locations as the Lincoln Memorial, Ellis Island and Yosemite National Park.

Article published 19th September 2016