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Naturalization at Rutgers
On November 15th, 2011, Rutgers University’s Program on Immigration and Democracy hosted an historic event: Rutgers’ first-ever Naturalization Ceremony.
With US, NJ and Rutgers flags flying, 34 candidates from 17 countries and five continents took this dramatic step, formally entering US citizenship as naturalized citizens. They ranged in age from 20 to 68 and they hailed from 17 different nations including Pakistan, Poland, India, Italy, Nepal, Nigeria, Egypt and El Salvador.
Dr. Ruth Mandel, Director of Eagleton Institute of Politics, welcomed and congratulated the candidates and their families, and reflected on her own family’s history as immigrants and refugees from Nazi-occupied Austria more than 60 years ago.
Dr. John Thompson, District Director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, and a Rutgers alumnus, explained the rights and responsibilities of American citizenship, and Field Office Director Randi Borgen led the candidates in the oath of office. Dr. Anastasia Mann, Director of the Program on Immigration and Democracy shed light on advantages that immigrant New Jersey offers the state, and Isabel Nazario, Vice President of Community Partnerships talked about the significance of current demographic shifts for the nation’s future.
During the ceremony, Katherine De La Merced, an RU undergraduate and a member of the Voorhees choir performed an a cappella version of the Star Spangled Banner Anthem. Graduate student Marlon Avellan led the candidates in the Pledge of Allegiance.