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Porter, IN - 34 candidates became new citizens today during a ceremony at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. This is one of more than 20 naturalization ceremonies taking place in national parks during Citizenship Week under a partnership between the National Park Service and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The theme is “Embrace Citizenship – Experience America through your National Parks.”
“As the grandson of immigrants, I know this is a moment to be remembered by the new citizens and their families and we are pleased to host this event at the only national park in the Chicagoland area.” Stated Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Superintendent Constantine Dillon
Family and friends of the citizen candidates will gather at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore at the pavilion at Portage Lakefront and River walk. The Honorable Andrew P. Rodovich, U.S. Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iniana, will preside over the ceremony overlooking Lake Michigan.
“I can’t think of places more appropriate to welcome a new generation of American citizens than national parks,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “These parks, which are owned by all Americans, are not only places of stunning natural beauty and abundant wildlife, but across this country the nearly 400 national parks preserve our nation’s fascinating history and protect our rich cultural heritage. From the Aztec Ruins National Monument in New Mexico to Ellis Island in New York City, national parks ensure our nation’s artifacts and records are protected for generations to come.”
The National Park Service and USCIS recently renewed a formal partnership to enhance citizenship ceremonies by holding them in national parks throughout the country. The agreement helps introduce new citizens to some of the nation’s most significant natural resources and cultural heritage sites. These historic and picturesque sites provide an ideal backdrop for citizenship ceremonies, where new citizens can learn about and reflect on American identity and the responsibilities of citizenship.
“Each year we recognize Constitution Day and Citizenship Day on September 17 to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution and to reflect on what it means to be a citizen of this nation,” said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas. “While we continue to be enriched by our cultural and ethnic diversity, we remain united in our respect for the Constitution and to the foundational rights and responsibilities it represents.”