Naturalization ceremony welcomes new citizens

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Dutchess County Clerk Brad Kendall, foreground, issues the oath to new citizens.

POUGHKEEPSIE – Due to social-distancing policies, new citizens took their oath to become American citizens in two ceremonies held on Friday in Poughkeepsie.  Dutchess County Clerk Brad Kendall hosted the events in the chambers of the Dutchess County Legislature with State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli as the keynote speaker.

Both ceremonies consisted of 23 immigrants from 17 countries who heard remarks from Legislature Chairman Gregg Pulver before DiNapoli addressed the new Americans.  The comptroller downplayed his appearance. “Your journey to becoming an American citizen is the keynote for today,” he said.

DiNapoli noted that 22 percent of New York’s population are immigrants, accounting for 4.5 million residents, with the national average being less at 13 percent.  “Never be apologetic for where you came from,” he told the oath-takers.

Dutchess County Court Judge Ed McLoughlin presided over the ceremonies and welcomed the new citizens, praising them for their efforts to become citizens.