Want to be inspired? Remember what an honor and a privilege it is to live in the United States? To see faces full of the hopes and dreams of what this country is supposed to be? Attend a Naturalization Ceremony!
Close to 1000 new citizens, from 89 different countries, took the oath of allegiance to the United States and left as citizens, with the full rights and responsibilities that all citizens have. Judge William J Fisher presided and did a wonderful job of welcoming new citizens to the USA while also reminding them that their oath in no way precluded them from loving their countries of origin, their people, their languages and cultures. These are gifts they bring to their new country and we are all better for it. Prior to reciting the Pledge of Allegiance he brought up all of the children in the auditorium to help him lead it and a few shared a bit about themselves and their families. Many smiles and tears were exchanged in this moving ceremony as we were reminded about the great effort that each of these new citizens made on their path to getting to this occasion, including passing an exam that many born here would not do as well on.
Here are some video clips from the ceremony
Welcoming remarks reminding us that the road to citizenship is not easy
The judge names all 89 countries and those from those countries rise to be recognized and welcomed.
The oath is taken
Some of the closing remarks
Several members of League of Women Voters, Dakota County, along with other LWV members from other metro chapters, had the honor of attending the Naturalization Ceremony at the River Center in St. Paul.
As members of the League of Women Voters we were there to help them to register for one of the greatest rights of citizenship, the right to vote. About 850 of these excited new citizens turned in their voter registration forms as they left the ceremony. We were there to help answer questions, distribute pens, and to welcome our fellow Minnesotans from all over the world to full membership in our democracy.
Join the local League of Women Voters. As one of the largest non-partisan organizations encouraging participation in our democracy, they are a wealth of information and community involvement!
Support any number of local immigrant support groups such as Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota (ILCM) which is a nonprofit agency that provides immigration legal assistance to low-income immigrants and refugees in Minnesota.