U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will celebrate the 241st anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, and our nation’s birthday, by welcoming nearly 15,000 new U.S. citizens during more than 65 Independence Day-themed naturalization ceremonies across the country this year.
“July Fourth marks the birth of our country, and for 15,000 people, it marks the birth of a new chapter as American citizens,” USCIS Acting Director James McCament said.
“These new members of our community will add to the diverse fabric of our nation and will now be able to enjoy the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship.”
USCIS’ Independence Day activities this year will feature a naturalization ceremony at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana, on July 3.
During this event, McCament will administer the Oath of Allegiance and deliver congratulatory remarks to 49 new Americans. Follow us on Facebook to view a live stream of this ceremony.
Other ceremonies include events at:
- Congaree National Park in Hopkins, South Carolina, on July 3.
- Saratoga National Historic Park in Stillwater, New York, on July 4.
- Calvin Coolidge Homestead in Plymouth, Vermont, on July 4.
- Saguaro National Park West in Tucson, Arizona, on July 4.
- Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia, on July 4.
- Battleship New Jersey in Camden, New Jersey, on July 4. Follow us on Facebook to view a live stream of this ceremony.
- George Washington’s Mount Vernon in Mount Vernon, Virginia, on July 4.
(New citizens will be taking the oath at several historic site around the Philadelphia area. Courtesy of CBS Philly and YouTube)
To view a complete list of 2017 Independence Day-themed naturalization ceremonies, please visit uscis.gov/news.
We invite new citizens and their families and friends to share their experiences and photos from the ceremonies on social media using the hashtags #newUScitizen and #July4th.
USCIS is committed to promoting awareness and understanding of citizenship.
We offer a variety of free citizenship preparation resources for applicants and teachers, including materials like the Establishing Independence (PDF, 2.41 MB) lesson plan, in our Citizenship Resource Center.
Immigrant-serving organizations can register to receive a free Civics and Citizenship Toolkit to help permanent residents prepare for naturalization.
(Learn More, courtesy of USCIS and YouTube)
The importance of the Declaration of Independence and Independence Day in the United States is reflected in several places on the naturalization test.
Prospective citizens may see them in six different questions on the civics test, including, “What did the Declaration of Independence do?” and “When do we celebrate Independence Day?”
To help applicants practice for the civics test, we recently launched our first official mobile app for the public, USCIS: Civics Test Study Tools, which is currently available for download in the Google Play and iTunes stores.
In addition to being the only official USCIS Civics Test application, the app keeps old tests for review, has a game to challenge your civics knowledge, and lists all 100 questions and answers that could be asked in the actual civics test.
DHS Welcomes 15,000 New Citizens During Holiday
Furthermore, Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly released the following statement today, commemorating Independence Day:
“Two hundred and forty-one years ago, our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence establishing the sovereignty of this nation and publicly declaring the right of each of its citizens to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
They believed that the strongest form of government is not based on any one man, but on the protection of these rights through law and order.
Ever since the declaration was signed, people have come to the United States in search of freedom and opportunity.
We have welcomed countless immigrants to our shores—immigrants who have helped build our nation and shape our history. Immigrants who became important parts of our institutions.
As American citizens, we are bound together by the ideal that our democracy and dedication to freedom for all is worth defending.
So worthy, that American men and women dedicate their lives to protecting it, serving at home and overseas, and sacrificing their time, health, and even lives for it. We can never thank them enough.
Over the next few days, nearly 15,000 men and women will raise their right hands, take an oath, and become naturalized citizens of the United States.
These naturalization ceremonies are the culmination of their hard work, their faith in America, and their respect for our country’s laws and immigration process.
As the Secretary of Homeland Security, I am honored to congratulate them and call them my fellow Americans.
To them, and to all Americans, I wish you a safe and happy Fourth of July.”