Second Gentleman Pool Reports of June 20, 2021

June 20, 2021

Pool Reports by Juliane Schaeuble, Der Tagesspiegel

Sent: Reports:
June 20, 2021

SGOTUS pool report #1 - Background information

Good morning from sunny New York!

I am your pooler for today's event with Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff. Mr. Emhoff will deliver the keynote speech at a World Refugee Day Naturalization Ceremony at the New York Historical Society (corner of 77th Street and Central Park West).

It's 10.38 a.m. EDT and we are already inside the auditorium where the 51 soon to be citizens are seated. No families allowed because of Covid (with one exemption because they didn't know), everyone is wearing a mask.

Mr. Emhoff is expected to arrive at 11.00 a.m. EDT when the event is supposed to start. The event will be livestreamed on Facebook and Twitter.

Here is some background information on the event provided by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS):

Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff to Join USCIS at a World Refugee Day Naturalization Ceremony at the New-York Historical Society
51 New Yorkers will become new U.S. Citizens
NEW YORK– On June 20, World Refugee Day, theU.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services New York Field Office will hold a special naturalization ceremony for 51 people from 26 countries at the New-York Historical Society, the oldest museum in New York City. USCIS New York District Director Timothy Houghton will administer the Oath of Allegiance and Louise Mirrer of New-York Historical will deliver remarks at the special ceremony to honor World Refugee Day. Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff will deliver the keynote remarks.
The 51 new US citizens come from the following 26 countries: Albania, Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Dominican Republic, France, Ghana, Guyana, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kosovo, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Taiwan, The Gambia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom and Yemen.
USCIS naturalized approximately 625,000 people in fiscal year 2020. New U.S. citizens are encouraged to share their naturalization photos on social media using the hashtag #NewUSCitizen.

*Coverage of the indoor ceremony will be a pool situation due to COVID-19 capacity restrictions. Please reach out to USCIS Public Affairs Officer Katie Tichacek (katherine.tichacek@uscis.dhs.govor 202-420-9581) to coordinate the pool.


WHO: Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff
Timothy Houghton, USCIS New York District Director
Louise Mirrer, President and CEO of the New-York Historical Society
51 new U.S. citizens from 26 countries
WHEN: Sunday, June 20, ceremony at 11 a.m. (pool video camera must arrive at 10 a.m. other pool press must arrive at 10:15 a.m. to set up)
WHERE: In person—press pool only:
New-York Historical Society

Live stream: follow us on Twitter @USCIS and/or Facebook. (Video will remain available after the ceremony concludes)

CONTACT: USCIS Public Affairs Officer Katie or 202-420-958
June 20, 2021

SGOTUS pool report #2 - Ceremony begins

Mr. Emhoff, Louise Mirrer (President and CEO of the New-York Historical Society), Susan Quintana (USCIS) and Timothy J. Houghton (USCIS) entered the stage together at about 10:57 am EDT. Mr. Emhoff is seated on the right of four chairs. Behind them is a big screen where we saw a video message from Madeleine Albright roughly 15 minutes before the event started. The National Anthem was played, everybody stood. On the right side there is a podium with two flags: the American and the one from the Department of Homeland Security.

Ms. Quintana spoke first for several minutes and introduced everyone. Then Ms. Mirrer started to speak.

June 20, 2021

SGOTUS pool report #3 - foto

I tweeted a foto from the stage:

There was a short video message from President Biden just right now.

June 20, 2021

SGOTUS pool report #4- quotes

After the candidates were presented and the Oath of Allegiance was administered, Mr Emhoff took the podium at 11:15 am. He took off his mask and began his speech that lasted nine minutes.
He congratulated the soon to be citizens and said: „You all came here differently but you are here now all together." They would now share an „unbreakable bond".
„Ours is a nation of immigratanrs." Mr. Emhoff said he visited Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty this morning.
„Like you, my family were immigrants."
„My wife, too, is an immigrant", he said with respect to Vice President Kamala Harris.
America is „a land of opportunities."
„People came in search of opportunities, a safe harbor." Mr. Emhoff mentioned that today is World Refugee Day.
„We as a country are so much richer" because of immigrants. „This makes America America."

The Second Gentleman wished Happy Father's Day to all the dads in the room.

And he said to the candidates: „We need you, your voices in our beautiful democracy, your ideas, investmensts."

Then he sat down again.

Please check with official transcript.

June 20, 2021

SGOTUS pool report #5 - more quotes

The Rwandan American author Immaculee Ilibagiza was honored by Mr. Houghton as an „outstanding American by choice". She became a citizen a couple of years ago. Ms. Ilibagiza spoke several minutes and said how grateful she is to America to be here after surviving the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
She welcomed the candidates. „All of us go though problems." But: „There is always hope."
„If I can forgive, and I have, everyone can."

Then everyone stood up and spoke the Pledge of Allegiance. After that the 51 candidates came on stage one after the other from the right side, received their certificates and were congratulated by Mr. Emhoff. Only one woman paused for a foto with the Second Gentleman (as far as your pooler could see).

The event ended at 11:46 am. Mr. Emhoff left the stage and spoke very briefly with Ms. Ilibagiza. Then everybody left.

June 20, 2021

SGOTUS pool report #6

Your pooler was able to speak briefly with Ms. Ilibagiza after the event and asked her what Mr. Emhoff said to her. That's her reply: „He said he will never forget my story. He said he was very moved and that it was the perfect timing."

And with that, I conclude my pool duty in New York. Enjoy the rest of this gorgeous day!

June 20, 2021

SGOTUS pool report #7 - one update

The organizers just told your pooler an update: The total number of new citizens ended up being 50 (not 51).
Take care,

Doug Emhoff, Second Gentleman Pool Reports of June 20, 2021 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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