This Fourth of July, I’d like to send a special greeting and thanks to two of American’s newest citizens. The week before the Fourth is normally a busy week for naturalization ceremonies, and many new citizens are welcomed – USCIS reports that it scheduled ceremonies in 50 states and in overseas locations where 6000 new citizens were sworn in.
Two of my clients were naturalized this week in ceremonies on opposite coasts. The first, a pharmaceutical researcher who received a green card based on his research, became a citizen after five years as a green card holder that have seen him rise to become chief scientific officer at a biotech company. The other is a recently-enlisted sailor in the US Navy whose long-pending naturalization could finally be resolved.
These clients and their service to our country remind me, and should remind all of us, that the United States was founded on the ideal that all people are welcome if they share our values and are willing to come together, working for a better country, without regard to divisions of religion, language or natonality. Many people do not realize that, prominent among the causes for the reasons for separation from King George that the Continental Congress listed in the Declaration of Independence, was:
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
From the very founding of these United States, welcoming new immigrants and allowing them to become citizens though naturalization has been one of our greatest strengths. These immigrants become Americans by choice – choosing to join in the project of improving our country and handing a better life to all of our children.
So to these two, and all our new citizens, I say, “Thank you, my fellow Americans.”