Date: Sat, 29 Mar 1997 22:08:02 -0800
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell

Excerpted from Chapter 11 of "The Federal Zone", seventh edition:

The Meaning of American Citizenship
Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization

Today you have become a citizen of the United States of America. You are no longer an Englishman, a Frenchman, an Italian, a Pole. Neither are you a hyphenated-American -- a Polish-American, an Italian-American. You are no longer a subject of a government. Henceforth, you are an integral part of this Government -- a free man -- a Citizen of the United States of America.

This citizenship, which has been solemnly conferred on you, is a thing of the spirit -- not of the flesh. When you took the oath of allegiance to the Constitution of the United States, you claimed for yourself the God-given unalienable rights which that sacred document sets forth as the natural right of all men.

You have made sacrifices to reach this desired goal. We, your fellow citizens, realize this, and the warmth of our welcome to you is increased proportionately. However, we would tincture it with friendly caution.

As you have learned during these years of preparation, this great honor carries with it the duty to work for and make secure this longed-for and eagerly-sought status. Government under our Constitution makes American citizenship the highest privilege and at the same time the greatest responsibility of any citizenship in the world.

The important rights that are now yours and the duties and responsibilities attendant thereon are set forth elsewhere in this manual. It is hoped that they will serve as a constant reminder that only by continuing to study and learn about your new country, its ideals, achievements, and goals, and by everlastingly working at your citizenship can you enjoy its fruits and assure their preservation for generations to follow.

May you find in this Nation the fulfillment of your dreams of peace and security, and may America, in turn, never find you wanting in your new and proud role of Citizen of the United States.

[Basic Guide to Naturalization and Citizenship]
[Immigration and Naturalization Service]
[U.S. Department of Justice]
[page 265, emphasis added]

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