Detroit Welcomes New Americans at Citizenship Ceremony

Detroit Citizenship CeremonyOn June 26, the City of Detroit’s Immigration Task Force hosted a citizenship ceremony where 105 people from 37 countries were welcomed as new U.S. citizens.

The ceremony was held in partnership with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit, a New Americans Campaign partner.

Wojciech Zolnowski, executive director of the International Institute, spoke at the ceremony. As a member of Detroit’s Immigration Task Force, Wojciech serves as the chair of the repopulation committee and is an ambassador for Detroit, cultivating a more diverse, inclusive city. He’s also not long removed from his own citizenship test.

“I myself became a citizen just nine months ago,” says Wojciech. “It was the right thing to do.”

Detroit Citizenship Ceremony - Wojciech

Wojciech speaks at the Detroit Citizenship Ceremony

Wojciech came to the U.S. from Poland 20 years ago. He is the father of two girls, Maria and Ania, who were his inspiration for becoming a citizen.

“Last year, Ania was studying civics in the fifth grade,” says Wojciech. “She started giving me a hard time about becoming a citizen and quizzing me about the questions on the naturalization test.”

While Wojciech has been a longtime advocate for naturalization, he now carries out his work as a U.S. citizen, fulfilling a dream of his daughter.

Citizenship ceremonies like this one in Detroit are taking place across the country this holiday week. Each year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services celebrates Independence Day with a week of special naturalization ceremonies. This year, it is welcoming more than 4,000 new citizens in more than 50 Independence Day-themed naturalization ceremonies July 1-4.

A full list of ceremonies can be found here.

Posted on July 2, 2015

Our Impact

  • The Campaign has completed over 3,700 naturalization workshops and clinics.
  • Over 250,000 citizenship applications completed since July 2011.

    Saved aspiring citizens and their families over $206million in legal and application fees.
  • Adopted scalable technology. MP3 players, Google Voice, and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services are being used to enhance naturalization service delivery.
  • Expanded New American Workforce (an effort to provide naturalization assistance within corporations) which has partnered with over 100 businesses across the nation, ranging from hotels in Miami to American Apparel in Los Angeles.
  • Deployed Citizenshipworks, an online tool, across the Campaign in multiple settings and languages. A newly redesigned platform guides applicants through through their citizenship application from start to finish and connects applicants to legal help at partnering non-profits.
  • Were instrumental in inspiring the US Citizenship and Immigration Service to support the Citizenship Corners initiative.
  • Created innovative partnerships with public libraries, school districts, universities, social service agencies, and employers, all of which yield not only greater numbers of applicants but also greater awareness of the naturalization process.
  • Deployed a large-scale volunteer recruitment program through an e-learning course.

    Reached diverse communities. Local partners consistently outreach and provide culturally competent and language-appropriate services.
Learn more from our
Impact Report.

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Who We're Helping

People come to America from all over the world with dreams of achieving a better life for themselves and their families and calling this great nation home. Eight million people who live, work, and pay taxes in this country are eligible for citizenship, yet only about eight percent of them naturalize each year. Find out more about these individuals and the barriers they face.Read More