WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Alejandro Mayorkas administered the Oath of Allegiance to 25 new citizens today during a special naturalization ceremony at the Library of Congress to celebrate National Library Week. In addition, Director Mayorkas and Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Director Susan H. Hildreth announced a partnership to provide immigration and citizenship information at public libraries across the United States.
“As one of our country's oldest and most important social institutions, public libraries are a welcoming space in American communities,” said Director Mayorkas. “We are proud to partner with IMLSto strengthen the support libraries provide to immigrants preparing for citizenship and the naturalization process.”
The partnership helps expand the availability of information about the citizenship and naturalization process for immigrants. For example, USCIS and IMLS will:
- Provide library personnel with information on USCIS processes and educational resources;
- Distribute citizenship and immigration materials to designated libraries;
- Partner to combat the unauthorized practice of immigration law;
- Highlight promisingcitizenship education practices that can be replicated; and
- Hold citizenship information sessions and naturalization ceremonies in local libraries.
IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Its mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement.
“This partnership will assist IMLS in continuing its efforts to help libraries foster an atmosphere of cross-cultural understanding and learning opportunities in a trusted environment,” said Director Hildreth. “With access to information and materials in multiple languages, along with classes to help immigrants learn English and improve digital literacy skills at many locations, libraries are well positioned to support America's newcomers.”
The new citizens naturalized at today’s ceremony hail from 20 countries. They are: Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Canada, China, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Iraq, Lithuania, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Taiwan and Venezuela.
National Library Week runs from April 14 through April 20. Other special naturalization ceremonies will take place at the Orange County Public Library in Orlando, Fla.; Broward County Main Library in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Harold Washington Library Center in Chicago; Multnomah County Library in Portland, Ore.; Miramar Branch Library in Miramar, Fla.; Seattle Public Library; and Folsom Public Library in Folsom, Calif.