Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams on Tuesday helped members of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) swear in 48 new American citizens, hailing from 28 different nations, at the first-ever naturalization ceremony held at Brooklyn Borough Hall.
Following the administering of the oath of allegiance by Justice Margo K. Brodie, a United States District Court judge for the Eastern District of New York, who is also a native of Barbados, Adams spoke about the value of the immigrant experience to the richness and diversity of Brooklyn and the entire country.
“It is my deep honor and privilege to welcome new citizens not just to the United States of America, but to the great borough of Brooklyn,” he said. “In Brooklyn, we derive strength from diversity, which is plentiful in a borough home to hundreds of thousands of foreign-born residents.
“The beauty of Brooklyn and of America is the hyphen: We are African-American, Italian-American, Muslim-American and more,” he added. “I urge our new citizens to protect that hyphen, share their diversity, and participate robustly in our democratic society.”
Nations of origin represented among the group of newly naturalized citizens were: Bangladesh, Barbados, Canada, China, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iran, Israel, Jamaica, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Moldova, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Sierra Leone, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
“We were thrilled to join Borough President Adams and Assembly Member Ron Kim for a special citizenship oath ceremony at Brooklyn Borough Hall today,” said Steve Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC).
The ceremony was held at the end of the 8th National Immigration Integration Conference (NIIC), co-hosted by the NYIC and National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), which for the last three days gathered over 1,300 advocates, educators, policy makers and government officials, among others, in Brooklyn.
Choi said helping all eligible New Yorkers achieve U.S. citizenship is a priority for the NYIC, the NIIC co-hosts and sponsors.
“We were proud to join 48 new Americans to witness the culmination of their path in the United States and celebrate their sacrifices along the journey, their commitment to this country’s ideals, and their excitement as they start the next chapter in their life,” he said.
After remarks from Adams and Kim, chair of the State’s Task Force on New Americans and a native of South Korea, the new citizens received congratulations, via video from President Barack Obama, and their certificates of citizenship.