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DHS Acting Secretary Elaine Duke Welcomes New U.S. Citizens during Constitution Week

Release Date: September 15, 2017

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

Duke Delivered the Keynote Address at a Naturalization Ceremony at the National Archives  

WASHINGTON – Today, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke addressed a group of new United States citizens at a naturalization ceremony in Washington, DC. The ceremony, held at the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom at the National Archives, was part of special programming celebrating Constitution Week. Acting Secretary Duke was also joined by Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director James McCament.

During the ceremony, 30 men and women from 22 countries, all of whom went through the legal U.S. immigration process, took an oath to uphold the Constitution. The group was also the first to be shown a video from President Donald J. Trump welcoming the new citizens to the United States.

Excerpts from Acting Secretary Duke’s prepared remarks are below.

“It is a privilege for me to join you and your families today, on your first day as citizens of the United States of America.

“It is especially an honor to stand here, in the Rotunda, among the Charters of Freedom, and reflect on the promise of this great nation.

“Throughout our history, people have come to the United States in pursuit of freedom and opportunity.  Whether they wanted to be free to practice their religion, free to choose their leaders, or free to speak their mind, this country is a place where freedom is a right for all of our citizens, whether natural-born or naturalized. 

“In choosing to become citizens of the United States, you’ve demonstrated that you value our country.  You value the rule of law.  You value the time and effort it takes to do things the right way.

“I know your journey to this moment has involved a lot of hard work.  I congratulate you, and I congratulate your families, and I wish you all the happiness in the world in celebrating this accomplishment.

“But as citizens, we still have work to do in pursuit of a more perfect union. So participate in your local community.  Vote in every election.  Voice your ideas.  Make your mark in the land of opportunity.

“I wish you all the best in living and achieving your American dream.  Welcome home, my fellow citizens.”

You can read her full remarks here.

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Last Updated: 02/05/2021
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