Post Content

Today, we celebrate Citizenship Day. On this date in 1787, the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed America’s foundational government document, and is now celebrated in a federal observance that highlights citizenship as our common bond to the Constitution.

9.17 - Citizenship Day Image 1

The Unites States, known as the Land of Opportunities, has been the destination of many people around the world to find better opportunities for a better life. Up to this day, thousands of people across the world enter the United States to be in a place where they not to only find a safer and better life, but also where they can stay and become citizens just like the very first immigrants who arrived in the America’s and formed our nation.

According to the Department of Homeland Security’s 2011 Immigration Yearbook, over 30,000 people in Massachusetts become legal permanent residents, and around 20,000 immigrants in the state have naturalized, every year for the last 10 years.

Unfortunately, many immigrants still face obstacles to apply for citizenship. An estimated 10,000 immigrants in Massachusetts every year are eligible to naturalize but are unable to do so for one reason or another, including increased financial burdens.

There are many benefits to becoming citizens; benefits which impact not only foreign born individuals, but also increase the economic and political outlook of the Commonwealth overall. This includes: Increased long-term residency in the state and increased buying power; increased civic engagement, and federal benefits utilization.

9.17 - Citizenship Day Image 2

At ORI, citizenship is one of our top priorities. We currently provide assistance to nearly 2,400 Legal Permanent Residents (LPR) to apply for citizenship. The Citizenship for New Americans Program (CNAP) funds 22 community-based non-profit organizations in 16 cities and towns of the Commonwealth.

Thanks to Governor Patrick and the Legislature, we have been able to accomplish a lot. But there is more to be done. Helping immigrants to become Americans is not only a benefit for them, but to all of us as a nation.

Today, we congratulate YOU, new Americans. Your journey was long, your path was not easy, but you achieve the American Dream. To those who out there, let’s all work together to help many, many more immigrants to achieve the American dream.

Hakimi Abdul, newly naturalized US Citizen from Afeghanistan; Tref Bordon, Executive Director Fish Family Foundation; Marcony Almeida-Barros, ORI Chief of Staff;  Derek Tobin, newly naturalized US Citizen from Ireland; and Reeca de Vives, new naturalized US Citizen from Chile. Photos: Frank Soults, MIRA Coalition. Event celebrated Citizenship Day at the Boston Foundation

Event celebrated Citizenship Day at the Boston Foundation: Hakimi Abdul, newly naturalized US Citizen from Afeghanistan; Tref Bordon, Executive Director Fish Family Foundation; Marcony Almeida-Barros, ORI Chief of Staff; Derek Tobin, newly naturalized US Citizen from Ireland; and Reeca de Vives, new naturalized US Citizen from Chile. Photos: Frank Soults, MIRA Coalition.

Written By:


Massachusetts Office for Refugees and Immigrants

Recent Posts

A Summer of Friendship and Growth posted on Aug 22

A Summer of Friendship and Growth

Shannon Curtin’s second summer in the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Urban Youth Collaborative Internship Program (UYCP) was spent, among other things, leading a dance party for two at Resources for Human Development, Boston, Inc. Curtin who grew close with one particular individual, said she   …Continue Reading A Summer of Friendship and Growth

Coffee and a Familiar Face posted on Aug 11

Coffee and a Familiar Face

Braintree’s Rick Swan, who is legally blind, runs a small coffee shop in the lobby of One Ashburton Place in Boston – home to many state agencies including EOHHS. Swan started running the shop with his wife, who is also legally blind, approximately four years   …Continue Reading Coffee and a Familiar Face

A New Hope for Women with Addictions posted on Aug 8

A New Hope for Women with Addictions

The second phase of the Women’s Recovery from Addictions Program (WRAP) in Taunton opened in July, 2016 officially closing the chapter on the day when women with substance use disorders are sent to prison for treatment. State officials who recently toured the new unit including Governor   …Continue Reading A New Hope for Women with Addictions