On March 28, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden attended the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Naturalization Ceremony at the National Chavez Center in remembrance of Cesar Chavez 95th birthday honoring citizens and farm workers.
“Today, you are not just Americans. You are Americans by choice. And like so many generations of immigrants who have come before you, you will shape your corner of our country to be stronger, more unique, and more beautiful than before,” said Biden.
A total of 31 people took the U.S. citizenship oath of allegiance representing nine countries which included Egypt, El Salvador, India, Mexico, Philippines, Yemen, Peru, Russia, and Israel.
A National award was presented to United Farm Workers (UFW) President, Teresa Romero, as an Outstanding American by Choice.
“I’m excited to honor a woman who has taken up his legacy: Teresa Romero. Teresa, with your leadership, the United Farm Workers continues to be a voice of justice and humanity for the hard-working people who keep food on our tables. You make our nation stronger every day,” said Biden.
Romero became the UFW president in 2018. She is the first immigrant woman to lead the national union. She is honored to follow Cesar Chavez and Arturo Rodrigues as the third president of UFW.
“We can make a difference, and we can overcome obstacles through our own faith and determination,” said Romero.
The Cesar Chavez Foundation is dedicated to carry on Cesar Chavez’s life work. Cesar Chavez is a farm labor and civil rights leader who fought for the rights of farm workers. Chavez lived in Keene for his last quarter century, and he is buried there next to his wife Helen.
The Cesar Chavez Foundation President, Paul F. Chavez, was honored to be part of the naturalization ceremony and to have great leaders join a special and historic event. He states that his father, Cesar Chavez, believed that becoming a citizen is the first step for empowerment and to stand-up for one’s rights.
“Our ancestors came to this country to seek an opportunity that they knew they couldn’t receive in their native country, and they shared the dream of all immigrants in and out to partake in the opportunities and the benefits and prosperity that this nation has to offer. My father also believed that with those great opportunities comes important obligations. He was convinced that American citizenship only begins when you take the oath,” said Chavez.
Chavez stated that the Citizenship and Immigration Service will begin to hold ceremonies twice a year. One ceremony will be held around Cesar Chavez’s birthday and another one will be held around October to celebrate the monument.