U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is celebrating President’s Day this year with more than 180 naturalization ceremonies across the country, welcoming almost 20,000 new U.S. citizens into the nation. Considering seven of the nation’s presidents were the children of immigrant parents, the holiday ceremonies are particularly compelling.
“Whatever their backgrounds and political views, our presidents have all recognized that we could not have succeeded as a nation were it not for the contributions of immigrants,” USCIS Director León Rodríguez said in a USCIS news release. “Through the contributions they make, and by choosing to naturalize, our newest citizens will strengthen the fabric of our nation and reinforce America’s unique heritage as a nation of immigrants.”
USCIS naturalization ceremonies, which will take place between Feb. 12-Feb. 22, are scheduled at venues all around the country. These include a naturalization ceremony at George Washington’s Mount Vernon in Mount Vernon, Virginia, on Feb. 22 where Director Rodríguez will administer the Oath of Allegiance to 50 people and deliver keynote remarks.
Other ceremonies during the week will be held at:
- Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site in Buffalo, New York on February 16
- History Colorado Center in Denver, Colorado on February 17
- Washington Crossing Historic Park in Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania on February 18
Among the presidents who were born to immigrants, USCIS blog The Beacon is running a series on the topic, starting with Andrew Jackson (189-1837), the child of two Irish immigrants.
As is often said, immigration is woven into the fabric of the country. Indeed, seven of the 44 presidents in U.S. history were born to at least one immigrant parent. For one, President Andrew Jackson (1829-1837), both parents were Irish immigrants who came to the U.S. in, escaping from political unrest and religious persecution. The future president was born two years later .
Thomas Jefferson, principal author of the Declaration of Independence and the third president of the United States (1801-1809), had an English-born mother. Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921) likewise had an English-born mother. James Buchanan (1857-1861) and Chester Arthur (1881-1885) had Irish-born fathers. The mother of Herbert Hoover (1929-1933) was Canadian-born.