Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Treasury Jacob J. Lew, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Alejandro Mayorkas will help USCIS celebrate our nation's 237th birthday as the agency welcomes more than 7,800 new citizens during more than 100 naturalization ceremonies across the country and overseas from July 1 to July 5.
"The United States has a long and proud tradition as a welcoming nation, and we continue to attract hardworking people from across the world who want contribute to this country in purposeful ways," said Secretary Napolitano. "During Independence Day week, we welcome men and women who have come from all walks of life to serve our country and become our fellow citizens."
"As a first generation American, taking part in this ceremony has special meaning for me," said Secretary Lew. "It takes incredible resolve to become a citizen of this nation, and we benefit greatly from those who make this journey."
Director Mayorkas and Secretary Lew will welcome 30 new citizens July 3 at the Department of Treasury in Washington, D.C. Director Mayorkas also will join White House Chief of Staff McDonough on July 4 to welcome 101 new citizens at George Washington's Mount Vernon in Mount Vernon, Va. Mt. Vernon is one of the prominent landmarks to host naturalization ceremonies this year in honor of Independence Day. Citizenship candidates will take the Oath of Allegiance during ceremonies all around the country, including: the Crater Lake National Park in Crater Lake, Ore.; the Chicago Cultural Center in Chicago; Thomas Jefferson's Monticello in Charlottesville, Va.; Saguaro National Park in Tucson, Ariz.; the National World War II Museum in New Orleans; the Freedom Tower in Miami; and the Seattle Center in Seattle.
"During Independence Day celebrations across the country this week, more than 7,800 individuals will fulfill their dream of becoming U.S. citizens," said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas. "American citizenship provides a unique bond that unites people around the civic ideals of freedom and democracy. These ideals led to our independence and continue to keep America a beacon of hope and opportunity."
This year's celebration of citizenship also will feature special naturalization ceremonies at sites integral to America's struggle to maintain independence and defend freedom, including: the USS Midway Museum in San Diego; the Battleship Missouri Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Historic Fort Snelling in St. Paul, Minn.; Fort Necessity National Battlefield in Farmington, Pa.; Saratoga National Historical Park in Stillwater, N.Y.; Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial in Put-in-Bay, Ohio; and aboard the USS Constitution in Boston.
Keeping with USCIS's commitment to supporting our troops, 35 members of the U.S. armed forces will take the Oath on July 4 at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. Secretary Napolitano will naturalize six military members at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, South Korea. Additionally, nine recruits will be naturalized during basic training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, allowing them to serve their adopted country as U.S. citizens.
In recognition of America's pastime, approximately 100 people will become citizens during naturalization ceremonies before baseball games at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, R.I.; New Britain Stadium in New Britain, Conn., Iowa Cubs Ballpark in Des Moines, Iowa; and TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, N.J.
To view a list of 2013 Independence Day naturalization ceremonies, visit www.uscis.gov/news. New to its Independence Day celebration this year, USCIS is asking new citizens and their families and friends to share the experience and photos at their ceremonies via Twitter using the hashtag #July4Natz.