September 18, 2022

RE-OPEN THE ISLAND AND PROCESS THEM ALL:

'I belong here': New US citizens take oath on Ellis Island (AFP, September 17, 2022)

The 200 new US citizens are among 19,000 that will be sworn in across the country this week, US Citizenship and Immigration Services said.

As sunlight streamed through the enormous arched windows, the emotion in the room was palpable as the group took an oath of allegiance to the United States, less than a mile away from the Statue of Liberty.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland presided, telling the newest American citizens: "This country -- your country -- wholeheartedly welcomes you."

The head of the Justice Department choked back tears recounting how his own relatives fled religious persecution in Eastern Europe. 

He said two of his grandmother's siblings were unable to escape, and died in the Holocaust.

"I have often thought about what members of my family felt as they came through buildings like this one," he said. "And I have often thought about what their decisions meant for my own life."

Before the ceremony, Lovell Brown, a 31-year-old originally from Jamaica, told AFP she was excited to be on the island for the first time for "such a big moment."

"I just feel like I'm actually a part of the United States now," said the teacher, who has lived in the United States since she was 17.

"It makes me feel like I belong here."

You were American before you got here.



Posted by at September 18, 2022 12:00 AM

  

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