100 new American citizens take oath in Dutchess County

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Legislator Ben Geller (left) with Judge Michael Hayes handing out flags at the naturalization ceremony.

POUGHKEEPSIE – Dutchess County Clerk Brad Kendall administered the Oath of Allegiance to 100 people representing 41 different countries at the Family Partnership Center in Poughkeepsie.  By reciting the 141 words of the oath, they renounced their citizenship in their previous country and swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States.

Dutchess County Surrogate Court and Acting Justice of the Supreme Court, Michael Hayes, presided over the ceremony.  “Presiding over a naturalization ceremony is one of the great joys of serving on the bench,” the judge told Mid-Hudson News. “Today was a vivid reminder of how lucky I am to be born a citizen of this great nation. I feel blessed to have played some small role in helping our newest citizens achieve their dream.”

Friday’s naturalization ceremony was the first that Kendall was able to perform with a full audience after being limited to private ceremonies due to the pandemic.  “It is always an honor to administer the oath of allegiance to our newest citizens,” Kendall said. “It was especially nice to see the families, friends, and children after nearly two years of restricted ceremonies.”

Dutchess County Legislator Ben Geller (R-Hyde Park) was in attendance and called it “Incredible,” saying it was “Hands down one of the most amazing experiences during my tenure in the legislature.”

The 41 countries that were represented by the new United States citizens:

Argentina                                                 Jamaica          

Bahamas                                                   Jordan 

Bangladesh                                              Kenya

 Barbados                                                  Kosovo

 Brazil                                                         Latvia 

 Canada                                                      Mexico 

 China                                                         Nepal

 Colombia                                                  Nigeria

 Dominican Republic                             Pakistan 

 Ecuador                                                    Philippines

 Egypt                                                         Poland

 El Salvador                                               Portugal 

 France                                                       Romania

 Ghana                                                        Saudi Arabia 

 Guatemala                                                Slovak Republic

 Haiti                                                           Spain 

 Honduras                                                 Taiwan 

 India                                                           Turnisa

 Israel                                                          United Kingdom

 Italy                                                            Yugoslavia