Second Gentleman Pool Reports of October 6, 2021

October 06, 2021

Pool Reports by Hani Albarghouthi, The Detroit News

Sent: Reports:
October 6, 2021

SGOTUS MI Pool Report #1

Cool, cloudy evening in Detroit, as Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff arrives at the Little Caesars Arena around 6 p.m.

Ahead of the Detroit Pistons - San Antonio Spurs preseason opener, he met with 16 second graders from the Amelia Earhart Elementary-Middle School in southwest Detroit at around at 6.30 p.m.

"This is your principal, you know how hard she works? I do!"

"My wife is Kamala Harris, and she is the first woman Vice President in the history of our country," said Mr. Emhoff, with applause from the students and their families.

Also said he was the first Second Gentlemen, "and I'd better not be the last!"

The students and their families are invited to the game by the Detroit Pistons as part of their Youth Engagement efforts, and were chosen as a reward high attendance over the school year.

"I'm going to be 57, okay?!" Mr. Emhoff said, after a persistent third student asked him about his age.

Told students about his first job (McDonald's), his current work as a professor, his kids' ages, his favorite pets (cats and dogs). Talked about where he and VP live.

"Late, great Kobe Bryant" is his favorite basketball player, followed by Michigan native Magic Johnson.

October 6, 2021

SGOTUS MI Pool Report #2

Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff welcomed 17 people as they became U.S. citizens during halftime at the Detroit Pistons preseason opener against the San Antonio Spurs.

The crowd of basketball fans erupted in cheers as the new citizens completed their Oath of Allegiance and then Pledge of Allegiance, administered by Chief U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood and Mick Dedvukaj, USCIS Detroit District director, respectively.

"Thank you to the NBA, and Detroit, Michigan!" said Mr. Emhoff.

"You speak different languages, you practice different faiths … You now share with us this unbreakable bond; you are United States citizens! It's amazing!"

"I say to my fellow Americans, welcome! Congratulations! You did it!"

Mr. Emhoff told a story about about his immigrant great-grandparents, their lofty dreams for their family. "If only they could see me now!"

He also talked about Vice President Kamala Harris' immigrant parents, who, like the new citizens were people "in search of acceptance … in search of opportunity."

"Citizenship is not a spectator sport … it requires action," said Judge David Lawson, who provided opening remarks to the citizenship ceremony, encouraging the new citizens to vote and practice their other civic rights and duties.

"This is not the end of your journey. Guess what?" asked Mr. Emhoff. "This is just the beginning!"

"Tomorrow, I look forward to working alongside you to form a more perfect union."

The Wednesday evening event was held to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month, customarily celebrated from mid-September to mid-October to "recognize the achievements and contributions of Hispanic American champions who have inspired others to achieve success."

The new citizens, all Michigan residents, hail from Algeria, Australia, Canada, Bangladesh, France, Lebanon, Mali, Mexico, Philippine, Vietnam and Yemen.

October 6, 2021

SGOTUS MI Pool Report #3

Aurelio Mendez's citizenship journey, which culminated in his naturalization in front of Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, began before he was born, 24 years ago, when his father applied for green cards for his family and himself. Just liked Judge Lawson recommended to the new citizens, he is most excited to be able to vote in federal elections as a U.S. citizen.

"It's extra special for me (to do this during Hispanic Heritage Month" because a lot of Hispanics are going through these processes, or they're afraid of (them) … It will be nice to inspire them to basically follow my steps, to tell them 'it's not that hard!'"

"It's a great honor," said Manuel Roque, 25, who also took his Oath of Allegiance at the game Wednesday. "It means to me that the American Dream still lives on in this nation."

Roque lives in Pontiac with his wife, with whom he just bought a new home. He hails from Mexico and was a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient. He said that in the 20 years he has been in the country, he faced some obstacles, but was lucky to be able to get visa sponsorship from his mother, which eventually led to his naturalization.

Doug Emhoff, Second Gentleman Pool Reports of October 6, 2021 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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