LOS ANGELES - Today, on Citizenship and Constitution Day, President Obama launched the "Stand Stronger" Citizenship Awareness Campaign and appointed Dodger broadcaster and legendary left-handed pitcher Fernando Valenzuela a Presidential Ambassador for Citizenship and Naturalization. In this role, Valenzuela will work with the White House and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in promoting the rights, responsibilities, and opportunities of citizenship among eligible lawful permanent residents and help the "Stand Stronger" Campaign break down the barriers for eligible immigrants and refugees to become U.S. citizens.
"We congratulate one of the greatest Dodger icons, Fernando Valenzuela, on his White House appointment," said Dodger President and CEO Stan Kasten. "Fernandomania was a special time in Los Angeles and all across Major League Baseball. He is a great American and will serve our country well as an ambassador."
Valenzuela joins three other prominent Americans who are contributing to the arts, business and civic life in the inaugural cohort of Presidential Ambassadors for Citizenship and Naturalization. The Presidential Ambassadors for Citizenship and Naturalization include chef and restaurateur José Andrés, actress Diane Guerrero and singer and songwriter Dave Matthews. This first-of- its-kind collaboration will harness these Ambassadors' inspirational stories to promote naturalization, bolster integration initiatives, and increase awareness of the contributions of new Americans.
The "Stand Stronger" Citizenship Awareness Campaign builds on recommendations by the White House Task Force on New Americans, established as part of the President's executive actions on immigration. This initiative encourages the 8.8 million lawful permanent residents that qualify for citizenship to learn more about the naturalization process so they can solidify their roots and tap into the incredible opportunities that await new American citizens.
Thirty-six years after first entering the U.S., 34 years since Fernandomania began and 25 years after his no-hitter at Dodger Stadium, Valenzuela added another benchmark to his American dream on July 22 and took the Oath of Allegiance at a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) naturalization ceremony to become a U.S. citizen. Valenzuela, a native of Etchohuaquila in Sonora, Mexico first moved to the U.S. in 1979 shortly after signing with the Dodgers on July 6 that same year. His career in MLB, both as a player and broadcaster, spans more than three decades. As a Presidential Ambassador for Citizenship and Naturalization, Valenzuela will work with the White House to promote naturalization and encourage education on the citizenship in the Los Angeles community.
Complete details on the "Stand Stronger" Citizenship Awareness Campaign unveiled today by President Obama can be found by visiting www.CommitToCitizenship.org. For more information on USCIS please visit www.USCIS.gov. The White House announcement on the "Stand Stronger" Citizenship Awareness Campaign can be found at this link: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/09/17/fact-sheet-stand-stronger-citizenship-awareness-campaign.