Every year, the Department of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services holds a naturalization ceremony at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. This year’s ceremony took place earlier this week, just days after the most tumultuous presidential election in generations. As you can imagine, it was filled with emotion.
Today we’re posting video of a large portion of the event, including remarks from Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. She was honored this week with the Ooutstanding American of Choice Award.” Power came to this country from Ireland when she was 9.
She told the 15 new citizens, “Don’t listen to those who say you have to choose between being a proud American and a proud immigrant: You can be both, you must be both… You are what America looks like and as much as any other quality, this is what makes this country so exceptional.”
The video begins with a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Immigration Services Director León Rodríguez then called out the home countries of those becoming U.S. citizens. There were also remarks from Judge Robert Katzmann and from Morris Vogel, president of the Tenement Museum (to hear those sections of the ceremony, check out the complete video here).