New citizens take oath at Philly’s City Hall

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 Thirty-three men and women from 19 countries took the Oath of Citizenship at City Hall in Philadelphia Wednesday.(Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Thirty-three men and women from 19 countries took the Oath of Citizenship at City Hall in Philadelphia Wednesday.(Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Thirty-three men and women from 19 countries took the Oath of Citizenship at City Hall in Philadelphia Wednesday.

Leon Rodriguez, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, attended the event, saying he is the child of naturalized citizens who came from Cuba.

“Every file that we have — regardless of  where you came from, what you do, what your family is like — is the story of some family’s suffering’s in many cases,” Rodriguez said. “And, in every case, a story of that family’s hopes and dreams.”

The new Americans have received an incalculable benefit as citizens, said City Managing Director Richard Negrin, adding that they’re good people who help strengthen the country as citizens.

“They are no more likely to use social services than native-born Americans.  More than half of the foreign born are homeowners here in the United States,” he said.

New citizens are a net positive for the country, Negrin said, because they contribute more resources than they take out of the system.

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