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Schenectady County Hosts Second Drive-In Naturalization Ceremony During COVID-19 Pandemic

Schenectady County Clerk Cara M. Ackerley

The Schenectady County Clerk, in partnership with the New York State Office of Court Administration and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services held a drive-in Naturalization Ceremony for 45 applicants today.

Prior to the pandemic, the 4th Judicial District, which includes Schenectady County, typically held one ceremony per month for approximately 35-60 applicants. Schenectady County hosted its first drive-in Naturalization Ceremony in September 2020.

“Our September Naturalization Ceremony was such a great success that I knew I wanted to continue offering this important service once the weather warmed up,” said Schenectady County Clerk Cara M. Ackerley. “While it’s not the traditional ceremony my grandfather took part in when he became a citizen, applicants and their families feel the same joy and accomplishment during these unique events.”

“They come from all over, to the country in their heart,” said New York State Supreme Court Justice Mark Powers. “Now they are home.”

“This is an important and special day for those whose dreams of citizenship have now become a reality,” said Dr. Steady Moono, President of SUNY Schenectady. “We are honored to have such a meaningful ceremony take place on the SUNY Schenectady campus.” 

The ceremony started around 9:30am this morning and took place in Schenectady County Community College’s rear parking lot.

The Honorable Judge Mark Powers presided over the ceremony, which is an official session of the New York State Supreme Court. County Clerk Cara M. Ackerley administered the Oath of Allegiance to the applicants.