Civic Ceremonies


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Welcome our newest citizens during a naturalization ceremony and watch democracy in action. Every week, our judges preside over a number of ceremonies that are open to the public. Some recent ceremonies:



Constitution Day Ceremonies 2017

On September 18, 2017, naturalization ceremonies were held throughout the Second Circuit at various sites in celebration of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.

Brooklyn, New York
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York held a Special Session of Court to celebrate Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. 51 new citizens gathered inside the Honorable Jack B. Weinstein Ceremonial Courtroom in the Theodore Roosevelt United States Courthouse. The new citizens were welcomed by Eastern District Chief Judge Dora L. Irizarry and other members of the Eastern District bench, including Magistrate Judge Vera M. Scanlon, who introduced the Ceremony’s keynote speaker, Brooklyn College Professor Paul Moses. Magistrate Judge Sanket Bulsara administered the Oath of Allegiance to the new citizens, and Judge William F. Kuntz, II performed God Bless America. Students from Fort Hamilton High School performed the Pledge of Allegiance and members of the New York State Police presented the colors of the United States. Read more about the Ceremony, “New Citizens Naturalized at Special Citizenship Day Ceremony.”


Eastern District of New York Chief Judge Dora L. Irizarry presents Certificates of Naturalization
to new citizens on Constitution Day and Citizenship Day on September 18, 2017 during a Special Session
of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Oyster Bay, New York
Fifty new citizens took the Oath of Allegiance to the United States at the historic Sagamore Hill National Historic Site. Presiding over the ceremony was Eastern District Magistrate Judge A. Kathleen Tomlinson who was joined by various members of the Eastern District bench. Assisting with various parts of the Ceremony was the entire 8th grade class from the Oyster Bay East Norwich School District. The National Anthem was performed by the Oyster Bay High School Chambers singers and Wind Ensemble. Welcoming remarks and greetings were giving by Kelly Furman, Superintendent, Sagamore Hill National Historic Site as well as Dina T. Miller, Esq., President, Federal Bar Association, Eastern District of New York Chapter.


Fifty new American citizens are joined by federal judges of the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of New York after a naturalization ceremony
at the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site in celebration of
Constitution Day and Citizenship Day on September 18, 2017. (Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa)

In addition to various ceremonies held around the Second Circuit, many other federal courts around the nation participated in Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. Learn more how students assisted federal courts to commemorate this day.

Other Notable Naturalization Ceremonies Held in 2017

On August 15, 2017, New Citizens Held Their Heads High, 102 Floors Above New York as Second Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann administered the Oath of Allegiance to 30 immigrants who became the United States’ newest citizens at One World Trade Center.

On June 15, 2017, Eastern District of New York Magistrate Judge Vera M. Scanlon presided over a naturalization ceremony at the historic Wykoff House Museum in the East Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. Judge Scanlon administered the Oath of Allegiance to roughly 50 new United States Citizens representing 20 countries. Read more about the ceremony, "Dozens Sworn in as US Citizens in Brooklyn"


Eastern District of New York Magistrate Judge Vera M. Scanlon
addresses new United States citizens at the Wykoff House Museum
 in East Flatbush, June 15, 2017.

On August 8, 2017, roughly 300 people gathered to watch the naturalization of 70 new United States Citizens representing 26 countries on the stage of the Paramount Theater in downtown Rutland, VT. Presiding over the ceremony to administer the Oath of Allegiance and to welcome the nation's newest citizens, was District of Vermont, Chief Bankruptcy Judge Colleen A. Brown. Read more about the ceremony, "A Dream Come True."

Constitution Day Ceremonies 2016

On September 16, 2016, naturalization ceremonies were held at the following iconic sites in celebration of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.

  • Ellis Island, in New York
  • Lincoln Memorial, in Washington, D.C.
  • Sagamore Hill, in Oyster Bay, New York
  • Fort Stanwix, in Rome, New York
  • Appomattox Courthouse National Historical Park, in Virginia
  • Great Smoky Mountains, near Knoxville, TN
  • Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, in West Branch, IA
  • Yosemite National Park, in California
  • Battleship USS Missouri Memorial, in Hawaii

Watch as new citizens take the oath of allegiance.

Congratulatory remarks by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Second Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann, whose own father came to this country fleeing Nazi persecution, presided at the Ellis Island ceremony, the "Superbowl of Naturalization ceremonies." Read Chief Katzmann's 2014 Constitution Day editorial, "What all citizens can learn from new ones" here.

Read Me, My Grandfather, and Citizenship Day," by Judge Denny Chin, Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

In Brooklyn, New York, students attended a naturalization ceremony featuring keynote speaker Okieriete Onaodowan, from the Broadway musical Hamilton. When asked about what they liked most about the program, one student said: "you can be anything you want in America." Read Eastern District of New York Chief Judge Dora Irizarry's welcoming remarks and introduction of Okieriete Onaodowan.



Learn more

For schedules of naturalization ceremonies open to the public, please check the links below to courts throughout the Second Circuit.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Citizenship Through Naturalization.

Read about naturalization ceremonies in New York federal courts, "In New York City, Hundreds Become U.S. Citizens Just In Time to Vote."

 

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