U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is celebrating Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, observed on Sept. 17, and Constitution Week, with nearly 240 naturalization ceremonies across the country. From the steps of the Lincoln memorial to the shores of Ellis Island, more than 38,000 candidates will be, for the first time, addressed as fellow Americans.
Constitution Week is being recognized this year from Sept. 16-23. The annual commemoration honors the signing of the Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787, and an observance that began in 1940 as “I Am an American Day.”
During Constitution Week, we celebrate the connection between the Constitution and citizenship and reflect on what it means to be a citizen of the United States. A chorus of voices rang out today through the main chamber of Ellis Island, where over 12 million immigrants entered the United States between 1892 and 1954, and recited the Preamble from memory during a naturalization ceremony for 45 candidates for citizenship.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
The Constitution plays a meaningful role in the lives of new Americans. It not only establishes the rule of law, but also creates the framework for an immigration system that enables immigrants to become full citizens with the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as any other.
USCIS has partnered with NPS to hold more than 100 naturalization ceremonies in national parks and historic sites this year as a part of NPS’ centennial celebration. The partnership with NPS was established in 2006 to honor our nation’s history and the places NPS is charged to protect. Picturesque and quintessentially American places where naturalization ceremonies were held this Constitution Week inspire new citizens and those who witness naturalization ceremonies to celebrate and experience our country’s history and natural beauty, and to protect it for future generations.
To view a complete list of 2016 Constitution Week naturalization ceremonies, visit uscis.gov/news.