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March 30, 2017
Jesse Melgar
(916) 653-6575




Secretary of State Alex Padilla to Speak at Citizenship Ceremony at Cesar Chavez National Monument in Keene, CA on Cesar Chavez Day


Secretary of State Alex Padilla will deliver the keynote speech at a special U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) naturalization ceremony at the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument in Keene, California tomorrow, March 31. Secretary Padilla will be encouraging the new citizens to register to vote and be active participants in America’s democracy. 

March 31 also marks Cesar Chavez Day in California—a state holiday. The Cesar E. Chavez National Monument was established by President Barack Obama on October 8, 2012. Widely recognized as the most important Latino leader in the United States during the twentieth century, Cesar E. Chavez led farm workers and supporters in the establishment of the country's first permanent agricultural union. His leadership brought sustained international attention to the plight of U.S. farm workers, and secured higher wages and safer working conditions. Located in the Tehachapi Mountains, the site of the National Monument served as the national headquarters of the United Farm Workers (UFW), and serves as Cesar Chavez’s final resting place. 

25 new citizens, originating from 10 countries, are expected to take the Oath of Allegiance at this ceremony.  

Secretary Padilla is the son of immigrants who became naturalized U.S. Citizens. His parents emigrated from Mexico and raised their family in the working class community of Pacoima, California.  His father worked as a short order cook and his mother cleaned houses. Padilla attended local public schools and went on to graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering. Padilla served as a Los Angeles City Council member from 1999 to 2006, including four and half years as Council President, and as a California State Senator from 2006 to 2014 before being sworn in as Secretary of State on January 5, 2015. 

USCIS is asking new citizens and their families and friends to share their citizenship ceremony experiences via Twitter using the hashtag #newUScitizen. 

Media are welcome to cover this event, and to approach new citizens for interviews.


California Secretary of State Alex Padilla


Friday, March 31
10:00 a.m.


Cesar E. Chavez National Monument
29700 Woodford-Tehachapi Road
Keene, CA 93531


TV cameras should be set up by 9:30 AM. Secretary Padilla will be available for interviews after the ceremony.


Secretary Padilla: Jesse Melgar, (916) 701-3753
USCIS: Sharon Rummery
(415) 248-8873 (Office); (415) 987-0191 (cell)