Newly naturalized citizens representing more than two dozen countries recited the pledge of allegiance in a special ceremony at the main branch of the New York Public Library.
Seventy-five people hailing from 27 countries became American citizens. It was part of a series of events timed for the July Fourth weekend.
Elvis De Losantos was one of them. He left the Dominican Republic when he was 5 years old and said he’s has been waiting for more than 20 years for this moment.
“Yeah, basically I grew up American,” he said, “and I do consider this home. Yeah, so this is a very special day for me.”
According to a 2013 report by the Population Division of the New York City Department, there are 3 million New Yorkers who were born in another country.
“Here in New York City, we know that immigration is a great thing,” says Phyllis Coven, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services New York District Director. “Immigrants that help make our country and our city what it is.”
USCIS will welcome over 4,000 new American citizens across the country this weekend in more than 50 naturalization ceremonies.