|Last week, 31 new Americans from 25 countries took part in a naturalization ceremony at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. President Obama spoke at the ceremony, which marked the 224th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights.
“We can never say it often or loudly enough: Immigrants and refugees revitalize and renew America,” said the president. “… America: A place where we can be a part of something bigger; a place where we can contribute our talents and fulfill our ambitions and secure new opportunity for ourselves and others.”
The national attention drawn to this ceremony by the president underscores the important work of the New Americans Campaign and its partners. Since 2011, New Americans Campaign sites and affiliated collaborations completed over 182,000 naturalization applications for lawful permanent residents (LPRs) from dozens of countries around the world through more than 2,900 naturalization workshops and clinics.
“The president’s remarks remind us of the contributions new Americans bring to our country and emphasize how important it is to encourage U.S. citizenship,” said Melissa Rodgers of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, director of the New Americans Campaign. “While we look back in celebration of the citizenship milestones reached in 2015, we also recognize that there’s more work to be done.
“The new year provides us all with an opportunity to encourage more LPRs to apply for citizenship. We know that more people will come forward if U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reaches out to them about this important opportunity. 2016 is an exciting year to become a citizen because new Americans will have the chance to exercise their right and privilege to vote in our democracy. The New Americans Campaign looks forward to continuing its outreach to the millions of LPRs eligible to become citizens right now.”