PERTH AMBOY, NJ – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) delivered the keynote address to 19 new American citizens and their guests during a special naturalization ceremony at the Perth Amboy Proprietary House. Council President Lisa Nanton led the Pledge of Allegiance and Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz delivered the opening remarks. USCIS District Director John E. Thompson acted as the Master of Ceremonies and presented the candidates for naturalization, while Newark Field Office Director Randi Borgen administered the oath.

Pictured from left to right: USCIS Field Office Director Randi Borgen, Perth Amboy Council President Lisa Nanton, USCIS District Director John E. Thompson, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr., and Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz.

The 19 new citizens originate from the following 8 countries: Bulgaria, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Germany, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Syria.

“You are a part of the history of a nation that has so many diverse stories and backgrounds,” said Pallone in his remarks. “Today, you are a part of American history as we celebrate one of America’s oldest traditions. It is our differences and diversity – it is your story – that will continue to add to the great fabric of our society. It is my hope that you will use your new status to actively participate in your communities and to remain engaged in self-government and our democratic process.”

To highlight the importance of U.S. citizenship, USCIS often holds special ceremonies to increase public awareness of the U.S. citizenship process. In fiscal year 2015, USCIS welcomed 729,995 citizens during naturalization ceremonies across the United States and around the world. In New Jersey, 34,882 new citizens were naturalized in FY2015.