Dutchess welcomes over 140 new citizens


POUGHKEEPSIE – A total of 143 people from 50 countries spread out around the world took their oath of allegiance to become United States citizens in Dutchess County on Friday.  County Clerk Bradford Kendall noted this was the largest naturalization ceremony that he has conducted since taking office several years ago.

They came from 50 countries

Addressing the ceremony was State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who noted he, too, is a product of an immigrant family.
“It’s not about where you are from or what color you are,” he told the immigrants because they are now American citizens.  He proclaimed that “we are all immigrants” and now that it’s legal, they need to make their voices heard and that includes voting. “We need your voice,” he told them referring to their civic voting duty. 
“I think it is just incredible to have 50 countries represented today, 143 new Americans and to see the great pride on their faces when they took the oath of allegiance to the United States of America,” DiNapoli said. “It really underscores how diverse all of our communities are, including Dutchess County, the great contributions immigrants continue to make all across New York State.”

DiNapoli: “Congratulations, my fellow Americans”

He finished by saying “congratulations, my fellow Americans!” 
Poughkeepsie Mayor Robert Rolison gave the opening remarks to the packed auditorium at the Family Partnership Center, site of the former Lourdes High School. The mayor enthusiastically congratulated the attendees on their commitment and dedication to taking steps to become American citizens. Rolison noted the most new citizens hailed from Jamaica and 11 were from the Philippines.
Brian Doyle, CEO of Family Services Inc., the host of the event, added that naturalization ceremonies like this provide a strengthening of our community. 
Family Court Judge Joseph Egitto administered the oath of allegiance which was given to all new citizens who stood and raised their right hand to renounce their allegiance to their country of origin and declare their oath to uphold the Constitution of their new country; the United States.
After swearing to uphold the Constitution and abide by the laws of the United States, they recited the Pledge of Allegiance led by Dutchess County Legislator Barbara Jeter-Jackson. 

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