During her visit to New York City, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today participated in a naturalization ceremony for 137 naturalization candidates from 43 countries. Secretary Napolitano administered the Oath of Allegiance and delivered remarks.
"Over the past four and a half years, I have had the privilege of participating in more than a dozen of these naturalization ceremonies. These remain among the most inspiring and meaningful events that I have had the opportunity to take part in," said Secretary Napolitano. "This naturalization ceremony may mark the end of their journey toward citizenship, but it also marks the start of their new life as American citizens, and I am proud to call them my fellow citizens."
The United States has a strong tradition as a welcoming nation, and the Department of Homeland Security is committed to promoting the lawful immigration process, expedite administration of immigration services, and promote the integration of lawful immigrants into American society. Over the past four-and-a-half years, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has naturalized nearly 3 million Americans, including thousands of men and women who serve in the United States Armed Forces.
The new citizens naturalized during today's ceremony hailed from: Albania, Antigua-Barbuda, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Canada, People's Republic Of China, Cote D'Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Fiji, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Honduras, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Mali, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, St. Lucia, Taiwan, The Gambia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vietnam and Yemen.
Earlier today, Secretary Napolitano also joined U.S. Congresswoman Grace Meng to visit the dedicated Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) employees at the FEMA Joint Field Office. FEMA employees provided strong and collective support before, during and after Hurricane Sandy made landfall-- working quickly to meet the needs of state and local partners, and demonstrating the Administration's ongoing commitment to assisting survivors and helping communities get back on their feet. To date, FEMA and the Small Business Administration have approved nearly $2.5 billion in disaster assistance to individuals in New York, and nearly $1.7 billion in Public Assistance grants to New York for Hurricane Sandy. Secretary Napolitano also met with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg this morning.
For more information, visit www.dhs.gov.