This September - Honoring and Celebrating Citizenship
The United States honors Constitution Day and Citizenship Day each year on September 17. I can't think of a better opportunity to celebrate our newest citizens and the importance of citizenship to this nation.
Last year, more than 750,000 people became naturalized U.S. citizens. On average, our country welcomes approximately one million new permanent residents, and more than 650,000 new citizens naturalize each year. Even with our great diversity as a nation of immigrants, there are strong bonds that unite us all as Americans. These bonds are formed through a belief and commitment to the same ideals that led to the creation of our nation - liberty, equality, and justice.
As individuals, as communities, and as a nation, we continually strive to realize these ideals more fully. People come from all over the world to experience America's promise of freedom and opportunity. Becoming a U.S. citizen is an important step on that journey. Learning English, understanding our history, and having a vested stake in the future of this country not only strengthens immigrants and their families, but benefits our entire nation as well.
At USCIS, we plan to dedicate the month of September to the celebration of citizenship. Throughout the month, we have several special events and announcements scheduled. A few highlights include:
- Special naturalization ceremonies at national park sites such as the Lincoln Memorial, Grand Canyon National Park, and the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis, MO.;
- The announcement of approximately 50 new grant recipients as part of the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program; and
- The launch of a free online Citizenship Resource Center to help applicants and educators prepare for the naturalization process and test.
Rebecca S. Carson
Chief, Office of Citizenship