More than 38,000 soon-to-be citizens are set to take the Oath of Allegiance during this year's Constitution Week, Citizen and Immigration Services announced Friday.
Friday in Las Cruces, United States District Judge Kenneth J. Gonzales administered an Oath of Allegiance to 173 new citizens.
"These individuals are leaving their countries, something they've known," Courtroom Deputy Joann Stanridge said. "They are coming here and giving up their rights in their country to come here to hopefully make a better life for themselves and their families."
The annual commemoration is celebrated September 16th-23rd to honor the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787. Constitution Day and Citizenship Day are also celebrated each year to commemorate the momentous occasion.
Nearly 240 citizenship ceremonies will be held over the course of the week-long observance, including those at Lincoln Memorial, Ellis Island, and Yosemite National Park landmarks, according to USCIS.
Immigrants from across the globe endure the lengthy naturalization process to gain the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, including the opportunity to vote in the upcoming Presidential election.
"I am very excited. I am very glad I am allowed to vote now and that is the first thing I am going to do," Germany-born Stephan Dannemann said.
This Constitution Week, USCIS launched a social media campaign - #MeetUs - to showcase new U.S. citizens and the impact they have on our country. They are encouraged to use the hashtag #newUScitizen to share their journeys towards American citizenship.