Tuesday, January 19, 2010

USCIS to Naturalize More Than 8000 Citizenship Candidates on Constitution Day and Citizenship Day

WASHINGTON — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will commemorate Constitution Day and Citizenship Day by naturalizing more than 8,400 citizenship candidates at nearly 75 special naturalization ceremonies held throughout the United States Sept. 17.

“Constitution Day and Citizenship Day allows us as a nation to reflect on just what it means to be a U.S. citizen and to be thankful for the freedoms we enjoy,” said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas. “As we celebrate and welcome these newest citizens to our American family, this special day reminds us how our great nation remains that beacon of hope and opportunity for so many.”

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day is celebrated on Sept. 17 in remembrance of the signing of the Constitution in 1787. It has been celebrated in some form since 1940, when Congress designated the third Sunday in May as “I Am an American Day.” In 1952, President Harry Truman signed a bill formalizing the celebration of Citizenship Day on Sept. 17. In 1956, Congress requested, and President Dwight Eisenhower proclaimed, the week beginning Sept. 17 through Sept. 23 as Constitution Week. Most recently, in 2004, Congress established Sept. 17 as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.

USCIS’ celebration of citizenship is highlighted by various special events, including ceremonies to be held at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., for 25 candidates; Ellis Island, N.Y., for 100 candidates; Valley Forge National Historical Park in Pennsylvania for 100 candidates; National Constitution Center in Philadelphia for 50 candidates; the William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Ark., for 300 candidates; and Civic Center Park in downtown Denver for 600 candidates.

There will also be three all military ceremonies held at the USS Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington, N.C., for 50 service members; Camp Pendelton Marine Base in California for 75 service members; and the Thunderbird Hanger, Nellis Air Force Base, Calif., for 75 service members.

A complete listing of these special naturalization ceremonies is available on the USCIS Web site. For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit www.uscis.gov.

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