Saying that while American democracy isn’t perfect, but that the “American Dream is alive and well,” U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8) welcomed and greeted America’s newest citizens at a naturalization ceremony at Hudson Hudson Community College.
Sires welcomed Hudson County’s newest citizens who hail from many different regions in the world including Malaysia, the Dominican Republic and Poland.
An immigrant himself from Cuba, Sires told the new American citizens that despite talk in the media that the American dream is dying, if not outright dead, there are still many economic opportunities to be had.
“Many people say that the American dream is dead. Well, my friends, I tell you, I am a living example that the American Dream is alive and well,” exclaimed Sires.
“I came here at the age of 11, and today I represent you in the Congress of the United States to make laws for the entire country. I represent over 700,000 people, so anybody that tells you that the American Dream is dead, you tell them loudly ‘Not True!'”
In the accompanying Facebook Live video segment of the naturalization ceremony, we asked Congressman Sires during a one-on-one interview what he felt about the personal significance of being the ceremony’s keynote speaker.
“This has always been a special ceremony for me because I remember when my parents became citizens and when I became a citizen it was a very special day. So I want to share this day with America’s newest citizens,” stated Sires.
Given the “Summer of Hell,” dubbed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to describe the woes of commuters as multiple tracks are out of service at Penn Station due to major track work by Amtrak, we asked the Congressman if new passenger rail tunnels under the Hudson River – known as the Gateway Project – finally get built to replace the current 105-year old tunnel.
“I’m confident that we are going to continue to work to get it built because this is something that we need,” began Sires, who sits on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
“If we want growth in this area, we need this tunnel, so I’m working as hard as I can to make sure the new tunnel becomes a reality.”