For Immediate Release:
September 18, 2013

Media Contact:
Greg Chin



Grammy Winners Lee Greenwood, Jon Secada Perform for Crowd of 400

(Miami-Dade County, FL) -- 

Officials from federal and local agencies joined more than 400 attendees at Miami International Airport yesterday to celebrate National Citizenship Day and MIA’s 85th anniversary with the first-ever naturalization ceremony at a U.S. airport. The Miami-Dade Aviation Department, in coordination with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), hosted the landmark event for 85 U.S. citizen applicants to coincide with the airport’s 85th anniversary. Many of the new citizens first entered the U.S. through MIA and were able to celebrate their new citizenship where their life in the U.S. began.

Making special appearances for the event were Platinum-selling Recording Artist Lee Greenwood, who sang his patriotic anthem “God Bless the USA,” and Multi-Grammy Award Winner Jon Secada who sang the National Anthem. National Citizenship Day was September 17 and the first flight from MIA – then known as Pan American Field – was on September 15, 1928.

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Aviation Director Emilio T. González delivers his remarks. Jon Secada sings the National Anthem. Anniversary cake. Lee Greenwood (center) with Miami-Dade Police Officers after signing “God Bless the USA.”

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“Citizenship Day and MIA’s 85th anniversary have so much in common, with MIA being the top U.S. port of entry for Latin America and the Caribbean and the second-busiest U.S. airport for international arrivals,” said Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. González, one of the speakers at the event. “In its 85-year history, MIA has welcomed millions of immigrants who now call the United States their home, so it seemed only natural to host this first-ever naturalization ceremony at MIA.”

The event was attended by officials from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, Miami-Dade Police and airline partners at MIA. After the ceremony, the 85 new U.S. citizens and guests were served a giant anniversary cake.

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