In naturalization ceremonies throughout America today, the “call of countries” will be read. That is when the many countries of origin of the soon-to-be American citizens are announced in alphabetical order. The candidates for citizenship come from all over the world. They come to America because there is no other country like ours. We are the greatest democracy in the world, the land of opportunity, and a place of refuge.
Today is Citizenship Day. Today we host special naturalization ceremonies in communities everywhere. This day, and each day that we grant citizenship to new Americans, is a day of national renewal and new beginnings. The lives of individuals and families are given new hope and the life of our country is newly enriched.
Fifty years ago, this country gave my parents, sister, and me a new life when we were naturalized and became United States citizens. I feel deeply the profound gratitude that the millions of new Americans before and since then have for those who made it possible.
Those who make it possible are all of you. Thank you for everything you do in service of our great country.
Alejandro N. Mayorkas
Secretary of Homeland Security
With honor and integrity, we will safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values.