On March 3, 2023, in celebration of Women’s History Month, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Florida held an All-Women Naturalization Ceremony at Cooley Law School’s Tampa Bay campus on Friday. The ceremony, which included the Oath of Allegiance, was the final step to citizenship for 55 candidates.
“What these ladies have already accomplished by getting to this place is remarkable,” said Cooley Assistant Dean Katherine Gustafson. “The distances they have traveled, the obstacles they have overcome, and the efforts they have made to put down roots here should always be sources of pride and of satisfaction to them and their families.”
The 55 citizenship candidates originate from 30 countries: Albania, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cameroon, China, Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, Jordan, Latvia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Sri Lanka, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Venezuela and Vietnam.
“This is the American Dream. The American Dream is not about money, or a house, but it is the opportunity to be an American while being able to keep your culture,” added Gustafson. “Now, these women are just as American as their neighbors who were born here, just as American as those who trace their lineage to the Mayflower, or just as American as those whose ancestors served at Gettysburg or Valley Forge.”
U.S. Magistrate Judge Amanda Sansone of the Middle District of Florida administered the oath this afternoon. The Oath of Allegiance has led to American citizenship for more than 220 years.