Our mission to empower the Dominican-American community is best displayed when we attend naturalization ceremonies because we have the opportunity to register brand new American citizens to vote. We enjoy attending these ceremonies because it allows us to meet people at the end of the long road to citizenship and congratulate them. The process to become a US Citizen is a lengthy one and these ceremonies are the culmination of that. They are addressed by various officials of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and are treated to a video of President Barack Obama congratulating them on receiving their citizenship. They all receive certificates of citizenship, flags of the United States, and letters that recognize them as US Citizens. These individuals typically walk away with a sense of pride in the fact that they are now officially American Citizens, after having many years already living and working in the country.
Now that they are officially American citizens, they have a newly granted right to the electoral process. These individuals now have the right to vote for the elected officials who represent them and their community. We take much pride in being able to help these new citizens become new potential voters by registering them to vote and even partner with the organization NYC Votes in our efforts registering newly naturalized American citizens. In the two years that we’ve been attending naturalization ceremonies, in New York and Rhode Island, we have registered over 4,000 new American citizens to vote. We will work to assure that we register at naturalization ceremonies throughout 2016 and beyond as we continue to empower the Dominican-American community.