Attending a naturalization ceremony is a big event for new citizens. They gain more rights including a critical one—the right to vote. The ceremony is also an excellent opportunity for the political parties to recruit their new members.
The Heritage Theatre in Campbell, California, has been a place for the monthly naturalization ceremonies in Santa Clara County. New citizens take their Oath of Allegiance to the United States and spend the first day of their lives as U.S. citizens at this theater.
The naturalization ceremonies take place on the fourth Tuesday of each month. Because of the holiday season, November ceremonies are usually the most attended each year. Jose Posadas, an election specialist from the county office of Community Relations, told The Epoch Times there were four ceremonies attended by about 1,200 new citizens on Nov. 26.
Days for the naturalization ceremonies are also the days for the local public agencies to reach out for new voter registrations. Posadas said by the end of the day, his office would probably be able to get half of the new citizens registered to vote. Posadas said that new citizens are free to choose the political parties that they want to be associated with, or to register as nonpartisan voters.
Republicans and Democrats both have their booths set up outside of the theater on these naturalization ceremony days.
At the Democrat booth, there was an image of the Statue of Liberty the size of a person, while at the Republican booth there was a life-size cutout of President Trump. Some new citizens coming out of the ceremony stopped by, had their picture taken at these booths, and signed up for the political party of their choice.
Teng Chun is Chinese but is from the Philippines. She signed up to become a Democrat minutes after she walked out of the ceremony. Chun has been in the United States for 16 years.
Chun felt excited and proud to be able to vote. She said she had paid too much tax all these years, and finally she could exercise her right to vote. She believes that voting is a privilege only for citizens.
Santa Clara County is a part of the San Francisco Bay Area, a deep blue region heavily populated with Democrats. “People just came and signed up,” said Judy Gilford, a volunteer working at the Democrats booth. She said she didnt need to convince people to sign up for her party.
Gilford came as a volunteer each month to help her party. Her grandparents were Jews, and came to the United States from the East European countries prior to communists taking control of their country.
Matheeswaran Tharmarathinan is from Sri Lanka and has been in the United States for six years. He and his family stood together next to Trumps cutout and had their first family picture taken after he became a U.S. citizen.
“I will vote next year, and I have never voted in my life,” said Tharmarathinan. He said he would vote for Trump because Trump “speaks everything straight forward. Speaking straight forward is important for the leader.”
Rosa Cruz joined the October ceremony and is from South America. She has been in the United States for 18 years. Cruz felt very happy she had finally become a citizen and was able to vote. She said she lRead More – Source