America will welcome thousands of new citizens over the next week in celebration of Citizenship Day and Constitution Day.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced Friday that it would grant citizenship to 21,000 immigrants during 335 naturalization ceremonies across the country between Sept. 17 and Sept. 23.
“It is an honor to welcome so many new Americans this Citizenship Day and Constitution Day,” said USCIS Director Ur Jaddou. “Citizenship Day and Constitution Day are special days at USCIS – an agency where many people come to work every day to help those at home and abroad realize the full meaning of U.S. citizenship.
The United States observes Citizenship Day and Constitution Day each year on Sept. 17, as part of a broader celebration of Constitution Week, to honor the signing of the U.S. Constitution on this day in 1787.
USCIS said it marks the day by “celebrating the connection between the Constitution and citizenship, reflecting on what it means to be a citizen of the United States, and holding special naturalization ceremonies across the country.”
The American flag will also be displayed outside every government building on Friday.
“On this day and during this week, we celebrate our Constitution and the rights of citizenship that together we enjoy as the people of this proud Nation,” said President Joe Biden in a statement.
The Biden administration is grappling with a massive backlog of naturalization applications, and processing times have surged to 10 months or more, about double the processing times between 2012 and 2016. Learn more with Boundless’ 2021 naturalization report.