Mar 3, 2015
1 comment

Forty-one local immigrants from 27 countries took their oaths of allegiance to become U.S. citizens at a ceremony at Craneway Pavilion on Tuesday.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) teamed with the Rosie the Riveters to welcome the diverse array of new citizens. Brazil, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Germany and Mexico are among the group’s nations of origins.

The group includes residents of the East Bay, and several from Richmond. Among them were a Nepalese father and two daughters, a chef at an Indian restaurant, a cocktail waitress at San Pablo’s casino, a business student and a Macy’s employee from Nigeria who designs and makes doll clothing in her spare time, said Sharon Rummery, USCIS spokesperson.

citizen.2-3Also taking oaths were a Pakistani woman working toward her license in cosmetology and Luisa from Belize, who helps her husband run his landscaping business and hopes her citizenship will bring better opportunities for her teen-aged daughter, Rummery said.

“And there’s a woman from Israel who met and wed her American husband there,” Rummery said. “She’s a software developer who loves taking her two children on outings in her spare time. She’d like them to see the world, and having an American passport will make that easier.”

citizen.2-3-1The event was presented in honor of Women’s History Month, and the keynote speaker was Betty Reid-Soskin (see video below), the oldest active National Park Ranger who was a clerk for the segregated Boilermakers A-36 union hall during WWII. Reid-Soskin also played a role in the establishing Rosie the Riveter/World War II Homefront National Historical Park.


  1. It is wonderful that the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond hosted this amazing event. I immigrated to the United States at the age of 5 but only became a citizen at the age of 40.

    Being around all of the different nationalities, knowing that many endured struggles and sacrifices to get tot his point, a symbol of hope, prosperity and happiness is very powerful and emotional. Becoming a US citizen is an amazing and moving experience that I will never forget. Many who are born in the US don’t understand what it means to become a part of this country.

    Sonia | Mar 5th, 2015

About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.