October 22, 2013

County Clerk’s Naturalization Ceremonies culmination of process for newest U.S. Citizens

WHITE PLAINS, NY: Two friends from Jamaica who completed their journey for U.S. citizenship together and an active PTA mom from Israel were just three of the 127 new citizens naturalized on October 9th in a ceremony conducted by the Office of the Westchester County Clerk.  “Citizenship is one of the most coveted gifts that our government can bestow,” stated County Clerk Timothy C. Idoni, who twice a month proudly administers the Oath of Citizenship to new citizens at the Richard J. Daronco Courthouse in White Plains.  “What makes these naturalization ceremonies we conduct so special is the jubilant smiles on the faces of each participant as they realize they have achieved their American dream,” said Idoni.

Naturalization is the process by which United States citizenship is conferred upon a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). These requirements include a period of residency within the United States, the ability to read, write and speak English, and an understanding of United States history. In addition, all naturalization applicants must demonstrate good moral character.

Keeshawn Natrice Thorne and Radcliff Rayon Dalling, friends who both hail from Kingston, Jamaica, are great examples of how perseverance and dedication can make dreams come true, “I came here to the United States seeking a better life for myself and my children who I hope one day to bring to America.  I realized this dream for my two sons and they were excited when I told them I was becoming a U.S. citizen today,” stated Thorne, who is a home health aide residing in Mount Vernon.  Dalling, a real estate agent from Mount Vernon echoed his friend’s excitement, “I came here fourteen years ago from Kingston, working hard toward my number one goal of becoming a citizen.  I also hope that what I have achieved today will encourage my mother to come to America and one day she too will become a U.S. citizen like me.”

For Ayelet Sella Blaustein of Harrison, who came to the U.S. from Israel ten years ago, today is an achievement of an important milestone.  “This is an amazing country and I am so proud to support and honor the United States Constitution, which will allow me all the rights and privileges of citizenship.  I can now register to vote and participate in voting in local and school board elections,” stated a beaming Blaustein.  “This is important for me and my family as now I can say I am a citizen following my husband who recently became a citizen along with my father-in law.   I have three children and they are also very happy for me.”

For information on applying for citizenship, please visit the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services' website http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis or call (800)375-5283. For information about the naturalization ceremonies conducted by County Clerk’s office visit www.WestchesterClerk.com and click on the Services tab or call (914)995-3082.