Blog: Celebrating Constitution Day and Citizenship Day

Statement

By:  Janet Napolitano
Date: Sept. 17, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

Today, I was honored to join 225 individuals, representing 69 different nations, as they took the Oath of Allegiance to become U.S. citizens at the National Archives, in the heart of our nation's capital. The National Archives is home to the Charters of Freedom -- the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence.

We also honored the 225th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution and recognize the rights and freedoms it guarantees. In commemoration of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, the Department of Homeland Security will welcome more than 32,000 new citizens during 158 naturalization ceremonies across the country this week.

I take great pride in my role as Secretary of the Department responsible for immigration and citizenship. Since 2006, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has welcomed more than four million new citizens to our country. Last year alone, more than 691,000 people became citizens.

Welcoming enterprising immigrants into the American family is a fundamental part of our heritage and a critical piece of our continued success as a nation. These 225 newest citizens remind us that America is still a beacon of hope and opportunity for others, and I am happy to welcome them to our American family.