On Thursday, March 29th, we participated in a Naturalization Ceremony at Sam Tasby Middle School in Dallas, Texas, where 57 immigrants from 23 countries became citizens of the United States. After the Court Security Officer called the Court to Order, Jose Cardenas, Principal of the school, welcomed those in attendance and spoke with gratitude for what Citizenship Counts has offered to this very diverse school. He also made a point of welcoming Sam Tasby, who comes often to the school that is named in his honor. (We will tell you more about Mr. Tasby in a future blog.)
U.S. Magistrate Judge Irma C. Ramirez administered the Oath of Allegiance while hundreds of 6th, 7th and 8th graders, many of whom emigrated to the United States with their families from 20 countries, watched and listened. Having studied the Citizenship Counts curriculum, they were prepared for this very moving experience.
Following the Presentation of Colors, Keith Armstrong sang the national anthem, and the candidates for citizenship were introduced by the countries from which they emigrated. After taking the Oath, the new citizens, students and guests heard the keynote address given by Mike Rawlings, Mayor of Dallas, who spoke about both the privileges of American citizenship and also the responsibilities of citizens to their communities and country. He strongly encouraged the new citizens to register, to inform themselves about the issues and to vote for the candidates at all levels of government who reflect their values. He also expressed his hope that all of the new citizens will become contributing members of their communities.
After Court was officially adjourned, each new citizen was called to the stage to receive congratulations from John, Diane, Principal Cardenas and USCIS District Director Lisa Kehl, who, with great enthusiasm, presented the very proud men and women with their highly prized Certificates of Naturalization.
We hope you will enjoy the photos below that will bring you closer to the experience of the citizens, students and guests: