Mayor Rybak Welcomes New Americans to Minneapolis
1,252 Immigrants from 110 Countries Became New Citizens in Minneapolis Today
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak welcomed and celebrated over 1,200 new Americans who took the oath of citizenship today. Speaking at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Naturalization Ceremony, Mayor Rybak proudly welcomed the new citizens to Minneapolis, congratulated them on their achievement, and celebrated their contributions to our growing community.
After encouraging them to vote and fulfill their obligation to express their freedom of speech, Mayor Rybak spent most of his speech calling on the new citizens to reach for their highest potential.
"I hope each of you, as you think about generations to come, will have the highest possible aspirations for yourselves, for your families and for your communities, because they are very possible in this country," Rybak said. "It’s your obligation to not settle for less and remember that it is part of the American experience to reach as high as humanly possible and to get there."
"The most basic tenant of Minneapolis is that we have come from all over the world to build a great city," Rybak said. "This city sits where it is today because of this waterfall, on this river, that powered grain mills. But it was immigrants who powered those mills until this became the milling capitol of the world. We stand here today because of the work and sweat of people who were new to this country and built our city. The power and the strength of the City of Minneapolis, of the State of Minnesota, of the United States of America rests on the shoulders of people who have come here from other places to build our nation."
"I’m so blessed to be mayor of a city where we speak over eighty languages, of a city where every street is coming alive with the strength of new arrivals who build our economy," Rybak said. "Thank you for coming to America at a time when we need to be reminded of what is the American Dream. Those of us who didn’t go through the work that you went through to get here, those of us who take that for granted, need to look to our new immigrant citizens and remember the power of the collective of all of us as Americans. Help remind us that this city only gets better because you are here."
The new Americans naturalized today came from 110 different countries. Countries representing the largest number of new citizens included Somalia (248), Laos (106), Ethiopia (93), Vietnam (92), India (70), Liberia (45), and Mexico (39).
Published May. 10, 2006