“I Am an American Day” welcomes 20,000 new U.S. citizens

USCIS swears in 20 thousand new American citizens on a very special day for immigrants and the entire nation.

Between September 17 and 23, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will sponsor over 235 naturalization ceremonies for new American citizens, in commemoration of I Am an American Day, Constitution Day, and Citizenship Day.

It is estimated that during these days, more than 20,000 individuals will be officially naturalized, not only celebrating the opportunity to live in the United States fearlessly and without legal restrictions but also being able to participate in the upcoming November elections, exercising their right to vote and have a say in their future.

“Since the beginning of the Biden-Harris administration, USCIS has been tirelessly working in communities to raise awareness about citizenship in line with our mission to uphold the promise of America as a nation of welcome and opportunity, with justice, integrity, and respect for all we serve,” said the director of the federal agency, Ur M. Jaddou.

How I Am an American Day Became Citizenship Day

September 17 is celebrated as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, now celebrated by USCIS as Constitution Week between the 17th and 23rd. The origins of this celebration date back to the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787, and also to a celebration called “I Am an American Day” started in 1940.

Since then and every year since then, the celebration of Constitution Week is carried out framing the values of the nation, as a few days of reflection on what it means to be a citizen of this country, what it entails, and now also, performing naturalization ceremonies to welcome the new members of the United States.

From its beginnings, the United States has been a nation of immigrants.

What does this day mean for immigrants?

“I Am an American Day” is a day of celebration of citizenship, and this year it is being celebrated with even greater strength and joy with the naturalization of over 20,000 new citizens. The United States has been experiencing a context of exclusion and xenophobia in recent years, with the nation being marked by discriminatory and “nationalist” rhetoric that advocates for sovereignty and justifies anti-immigrant policies.

This is why this year’s Constitution and Citizenship Day is particularly significant, especially that the celebrations revolve around the naturalization of so many immigrants. It means to the community that there is still a government willing to include them in the country, that thinks about them, and that the values of inclusion of the United States as an immigrant nation have not yet been completely eliminated by the Zero Tolerance speeches spread over the last few years.

That is why USCIS has started these celebrations throughout the week, which will take place in several significant places for the country. Also, the new governmental provisions implemented under President Biden’s Executive Order 14012, aimed at restoring general faith in our legal immigration system and strengthening integration and inclusion efforts for the migrant community, will be honored, along with the Interagency Strategy to Promote Naturalization.

These days are a time to reflect on what it really means to be a citizen of the country.

This week is about celebrating immigrant pride, taking advantage of the new opportunities provided by the government, and celebrating with our fellow immigrants their swearing-in ceremonies that will make them U.S. citizens.