President Joe Biden celebrated 21 new U.S. citizens at a naturalization ceremony at the White House on Friday, on the same day his administration rolled out a new strategy encouraging more immigrants to become citizens. The ceremony was part of a USCIS effort to swear in over 9,400 new citizens across 170 naturalization ceremonies between June 30 and July 7 – demonstrating their ‘commitment to welcoming immigrants’.
The 21 new citizens came from 16 countries, including: Afghanistan, Canada, China, Colombia, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Iraq, Nepal, New Zealand, Panama, the Philippines, South Korea and the United Kingdom.
Alongside President Biden was DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, himself an immigrant who travelled from Cuba as a child. He had also administered the Oath of Allegiance to 22 military service members serving overseas in a special ceremony earlier in the week.
Following each naturalization ceremony, USCIS encourages new U.S. citizens to share their naturalization stories and photos on social media using the hashtag #newUScitizen.
A new effort to promote citizenship through naturalization
Under plans released by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at the end of June, border agents could be asked to hand out information about naturalization to permanent residents entering at ports of entry.
It comes as Biden ramps up wider efforts to open up immigration after 4 years of harsh policies enacted by the Trump administration. The new immigration bill proposed by Biden earlier this year would provide a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the United States illegally. While the initial bill was seen as too ambitious by some, bi-partisan agreements have been reached on some issues, including the need to give stability and a path to citizenship for DACA recipients who entered the U.S. as children.
© Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC 2021. The above text is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice.