Attorney General Merrick Garland led them through the oath of allegiance and proclaimed, “This country – your country – wholeheartedly welcomes you.”
En route to Ellis Island, the soon-to-be citizens took the same journey as countless immigrants before them, boarding a ferry in New York Harbor, sailing past Lady Liberty, and waiting for their name to be called by officials in the Registry Room.
The occasion was extra special as it marked the 235th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution and was Citizenship Day (#ConstitutionDay, #CitizenshipDay). In addition to Attorney General Garland, speakers included Tamika Gray, District Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) NY District Office serving as Master of Ceremony; the National Park Service’s John Hnedak, Deputy Superintendent, Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island providing welcoming remarks; and USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou for the Call of Countries and Presentation of Candidates.