July 2 2004

USCIS To Welcome More Than 16,000 New Citizens During 4th of July Celebrations

Ceremonies Highlight the American Dream in Action

Washington, DC – More than 16,000 men, women and children from throughout the United States will raise their right hands and become America’s newest citizens during special 4th of July naturalization ceremonies. Held at locations across the United States, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will commemorate our nation’s 228th birthday by highlighting “Citizenship: The American Dream in Action” at each celebration.

“As a naturalized citizen myself, I can think of no better way to celebrate America and to commemorate the 4th of July than to welcome America’s newest citizens,” said Eduardo Aguirre, Director of USCIS. “For reasons too numerous to list, our newest citizens have left one life behind to start a new one here in America. USCIS is pleased to have played a role in the fulfillment of their American Dream.”

Each year, USCIS welcomes more than 640,000 citizens during naturalization ceremonies across the United States. That number includes more than 8,000 service members who have naturalized through an expedited process stemming from their involvement in the war on terrorism.

On March 1, 2003, USCIS became one of three legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service components to join the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. USCIS is charged with fundamentally transforming and improving the delivery of immigration and citizenship services, while enhancing our nation’s security. During the past year, USCIS has helped more than 640,000 men, women and children fulfill their dreams and become United States citizens.

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