Today at Scotchtown, the home of Patrick Henry, a orator of the American Revolution and first governor of Virginia, 37 of America’s newest citizens were naturalized in a special citizenship ceremony. People of many different ages and 25 different countries raised their hands and swore an oath to become citizens of the United States of America.
Delegate Christopher K. Peace (R-Mechanicsville) offered welcoming remarks to those receiving the Oath of Allegiance.
Peace spoke about their road to citizenship stating, “Undoubtedly within this class of new citizens there is one story after another about the long road to citizenship -- about a difficult journey -- about hardships and struggles to arrive at this moment. Again, let me say to you congratulations. You are an American. For 400 years, people like you from all walks – from all corners of the globe – speaking various tongues -- have come together hoping to form a more perfect union – to enjoy life, advance liberty and pursue happiness. Watching you take the Oath of Allegiance I am reminded how privileged we are to be here in this country and to be Americans.”
Peace reminded the new citizens that with citizenship comes new opportunity coupled with new responsibility. “All who swore an oath of citizenship today make a lifetime commitment to support the values and the laws of America. The pledge comes with great privileges, and it also comes with great responsibilities. New citizens should take time to learn the customs and values that define this nation, including civic responsibility and the language. America is a nation of immigrants, and we're also a nation of laws. All of you are here because you followed the rules,” affirmed Peace.
USCIS naturalizes about 700,000 individuals a year. During Fiscal Year (FY) 2006, 20,401 residents of Virginia became United States citizens. More information about the naturalization process and is available on the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov.
Delegate Christopher K. Peace was elected to represent the 97th District of the Virginia House of Delegates on January 24, 2006. The 97th District includes parts of Hanover, Caroline, King William, King and Queen, Henrico, Spotsylvania Counties and all of New Kent County. Peace now sits on the prominent House of Courts of Justice, Health Welfare and Institutions, and Science and Technology Committees.