NEW YORK (AP) – US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Wednesday interrupted his busy schedule to tell 39 immigrants how he and his family left Cuba in search of a better life in the north.
“This country represented tremendous opportunities not in my home country, my father’s home country,” said Mayorkas, who attended a naturalization ceremony in New York.
The head of the department that oversees security and immigration agencies for President Joe Biden encouraged immigrants to remove obstacles to improve their lives and the lives of others and enjoy the freedom the United States offers Done, such as the power of the vote. Or free expression, he said.
“This day is a great privilege for all of you and a great honor for all of us who are new citizens to you.”
Mayuracas spoke to migrants from 21 countries, including Mexico, China, Colombia, Israel, Nicaragua, Tanzania, Spain and Jamaica. The vast majority went alone, as relatives were not allowed into the room as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
According to data from the Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), the number of naturally occurring ceremonies caused by the epidemic decreased dramatically in 2020: they were 625,400 compared to 843,600 in 2019 in the United States. Spokespersons of the agency have said that they expect the number to increase this year, although the epidemic still leads to a ban that prevents many people from gathering in one place.
Laura Reyes, a 30-year-old Mexican woman who became a US citizen on Wednesday, said she liked Mayorkas’ speech because she learned that like her, the official family had left their native country when Mayorkas was a minor. When Reyes was 10 years old, the Reyes family crossed the border between Mexico and the United States.
“He told us his story. He told us how, from a very young age, he was brought here and how many nationalities can come together to become a nation, “said Reyes, a three-year-old mother and Reece, who teaches at a school in the Bronx neighborhood, Filled me up. Khushi, they encouraged me ”.
Mayorkas described how her parents brought her and her sister to the United States when she was just one year old.
“We left the communist state of Cuba to enjoy the freedom that America has presented to us,” he said.
Lucaresia Borgonovo, an Argentine who was also natural, took a selfie with the official when he handed her a certificate of US nationality.
“I love this country. This country has given me many opportunities, a great education, a wonderful job, love, it has given me an incredible life. I think this is my country and formally I belong to it. Wanted to be.
Mayorkas, who said he became naturalized in 1973, was the director of USCIS during the chairmanship of Democrat Barack Obama.