An assignment for Street Roots last may, I had the chance to witness a US naturalization ceremony. Presented by the iconic Royal Rosarians of Portland Oregon, the event was part of the festivities of the Cinco De Mayo. The origins of the festivity is to celebrate the victory of the Mexican Army over the French army in the French Intervention War of 1862, it is celebrated in the Puebla region, even reenacted, but it has taken a hold in the US as a day to celebrate Mexican Heritage. Also it is categorized as a bit of a hispanic St. Patrick's day, as it is wildly pursued by advertising of light beers and the whole rainbow of Tex-Mex, pseudo-mexican snacks and all kinds of over stereotyped iconography.
Below the Corona commercials, the exhibition of Mariachis and regional dances, something a lot more serious under the wraps of our traditional over commercialized holidays. And that is a movement in response to the anti emigrant tendencies of part of the US society headed by the now Republican Party nominee and controversial figure Donald Trump. The story brilliantly written by my friend Street Roots reporter Emily Green, depicts a notorious increase of applications for US citizenship to be able to take part in this critical presidential elections of November 8th of this 2016.
The ceremony, went totally smoothly, presented by the Portland Royal Rosarians, a Portland institution, awarded by the city as the "Ambassadors of Goodwill and Official Greeters for the City of Portland", a keynote speech by the Mexican consulate, and the representative of the Immigration and Naturalization Services welcoming the new citizens.
Street Roots run the piece as their cover story on early May, 2016.
See the full story here.
The ceremony render a lot more pictures that the story could possibly print, here is a sample of the events images in the slide show below.