At first citizenship ceremony since Trump’s order, flags and frayed nerves – The Boston Globe

The federal judge at the ceremony tries to reassure:

At the citizenship ceremony Thursday in Faneuil Hall, where revolutionaries, abolitionists, and suffragists once gathered to debate, the crowd was solemn. Typically the mood at citizenship ceremonies is festive, with immigrants waving American flags and joyfully snapping photos.

But under Trump, immigrants said, they were unsure how to feel.

“It’s sad,” said Yuly Mosca, a nursing student from Colombia who also became a citizen.

Federal Judge Patti Saris sought to reassure the new citizens. She quoted lyrics from the musical “Hamilton,” after former Treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton, who grew up in the Caribbean. She spoke of the work it had taken to reach this point. She reminded them that the Constitution protects everyone.

“We as a society cherish civil rights, including the civil rights of new Americans,” she said to loud applause.

Without mentioning Trump, she urged immigrants to take heart in her own story. Her grandparents arrived from Russia with little money. They did not speak English. But now she is a federal judge.

Asa Valenti from Iran and her husband Paul checked on their 6-day old baby Amelia after the ceremony.

JOHN TLUMACKI/GLOBE STAFF

Asa Valenti from Iran and her husband Paul checked on their 6-day old baby Amelia after the ceremony.

“So in the context of the heated rhetoric, I imagine that some of you may have turned on the TV or opened a paper or read a blog and thought about whether the United States remains welcome to immigrants,” Saris said. “Let me assure you, it does.”

Source: At first citizenship ceremony since Trump’s order, flags and frayed nerves – The Boston Globe

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About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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