More than 36,000 immigrants will become citizens over the next seven days, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced Thursday.
As part of the Obama administration’s new multilingual effort to promote citizenship, starting Thursday and into next week, USCIS will be holding more than 200 naturalization ceremonies.
The effort, according to USCIS, highlights Constitution Day and Citizenship Day which marks the signing of the Constitution in 1787.
“Congress first highlighted the significance of U.S. citizenship in 1940 when it designated the third Sunday in May as ‘I Am an American Day.’ In 1952, Congress shifted the date to Sept. 17 and renamed it ‘Citizenship Day.’ Congress changed the designation of this day to ‘Constitution Day and Citizenship Day’ in 2004,” USCIS explained in a release.
In addition to the naturalization ceremonies USCIS is holding as part of “Constitution Week,” the Obama administration Thursday launched its “‘Stand Stronger’ Citizenship Awareness Campaign” aimed at encouraging the estimated 8.8 million legal permanent residents in the U.S. eligible to apply for citizenship to naturalize.
“It’s not about changing who you are, it’s about adding a new chapter to your journey, as an American citizen. And to our journey as a nation of immigrants,” President Obama said in a promotional video for the campaign.
The campaign stems from the White House Task Force on New Americans which Obama established as part of his November 20 executive amnesty.
As part of the campaign, in addition to naturalizing tens of thousands of people during the campaign’s kick off week, USCIS is also offering grants, making improvements to its systems, and expanding advertising to encourage citizenship.