From the Office of U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich:
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Marco Rubio (R-Florida) – both sons of U.S. immigrants, naturalized citizens – sent a bipartisan letter Friday to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Acting Director Kenneth Cuccinelli, requesting that the agency increase small in-person ceremonies and seek out alternative methods for eligible immigrants with approved naturalization applications to safely participate in U.S. Citizenship Oath of Allegiance Ceremonies.
In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and in compliance with guidelines and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), USCIS temporarily suspended in-person services. This pause has left eligible individuals without an opportunity to participate in naturalization ceremonies, a legal requirement for U.S. citizenship.
“As our country recovers from the public health effects of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we are writing to respectfully request that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) take all necessary measures to ensure eligible immigrants with approved naturalization applications have an opportunity to safely participate in U.S. Citizenship Oath of Allegiance Ceremonies, including remotely administering oaths of allegiance and expanding small in-person ceremonies, in accordance with preventive measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local public health authorities,” the lawmakers wrote.
The lawmakers continued, “Our immigrant communities have helped write the economic, social, and cultural story of America. Accordingly, we urge USCIS to ensure eligible applicants have an opportunity to participate in U.S. Citizenship Oath of Allegiance Ceremonies to become citizens and are able to continue to contribute to our great country.”
Read the full text of the letter here.