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April 14, 2017


Secretary of State Alex Padilla to Welcome 1,500 New U.S. Citizens in San Diego


SAN DIEGO – Secretary of State Alex Padilla will deliver the keynote speech at a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) naturalization ceremony at Golden Hall in San Diego on Wednesday, May 24 at 10:00 a.m. Secretary Padilla will be encouraging the new citizens to register to vote and be active participants in America’s democracy.

1,550 new citizens, originating from 88 countries, are expected to take the Oath of Allegiance at this ceremony. 

“I often tell people, if you have never been to a citizenship ceremony, you should. It is a moving experience full of hope, pride and joy. To see individuals raise their right hand and pledge their allegiance, you are witnessing them as they realize a dream. It is a powerful reminder of what our nation is all about. I will never get tired of attending these ceremonies,” said Secretary of State Padilla. 

Secretary Padilla's 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 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 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 the experience and photos at their ceremonies 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


Wednesday, May 24, 2017
10:00 a.m.


Golden Hall
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101


TV cameras should be set up by 9:45 a.m. Secretary Padilla will be available for interviews prior to the ceremony.


Secretary Padilla: Sam Mahood or Jesse Melgar (916) 653-6575
USCIS: Maria Elena Upson desk: (602) 462-2503; mobile: (214) 208-7765;


Follow the California Secretary of State on Twitter and Facebook.