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Statement By Secretary John F. Kelly Commemorating Independence Day

Release Date: July 4, 2017

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

DHS to Welcome 15,000 New Citizens During Holiday

WASHINGTON – Today, Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly released the following statement 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."

Click here to view a complete list of 2017 Independence Day-themed naturalization ceremonies.

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Last Updated: 02/05/2021
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