America welcomes over 14,000 new citizens in Independence Day-themed naturalization ceremonies

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On July 4, the US celebrated the nation’s 242nd birthday and the day the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

USCIS marked Independence Day with naturalization ceremonies across the country. In this year’s Independence Day-themed ceremonies, more than 14,000 new citizens were welcomed in nearly 175 naturalization ceremonies between June 28 and July 10.

With President Trump issuing recent Executive Orders setting forth the Administration’s immigration enforcement and removal priorities, figures compiled by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) seem to bear out the conclusion that more permanent residents are applying for citizenship.

By the end of the first quarter of the fiscal year 2017, which ran Oct. 1-Dec. 31, 2016 — when Trump was already President-elect — the number of citizenship applications received by USCIS reached 239,628, compared to 187,635 in the first quarter of 2016. That is a 27.7 percent increase.

According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Annual Flow Report 2017, In 2016, a total of 753,060 persons naturalized.

The leading countries of birth of new citizens were Mexico (103,550), India (46,188), the Philippines (41,285), the People’s Republic of China (35,794), and Cuba (32,101). The largest number of
persons naturalizing lived in California (151,830), New York (93,376), and Florida (88,764).

The number of Africans that got naturalized in 2016 was 72,338 or 9.6%.