The Anaheim Convention Center played host Wednesday to over 1,400 immigrants who were naturalized and sworn in as American citizens. In addition to the new citizens, the convention center was also crowded with family and friends who waited outside for their loved ones.
There were also two groups of people outside the convention center waiting to greet the newly sworn in citizens with a big “Congratulations on becoming a citizen!” The Democratic Party of Orange County (DPOC) had a booth set up right outside to greet the crowd, pass out information, stickers, and buttons, and help anyone to register to vote. The registrar of voters was inside the ceremony (because they are non-partisan) to help everyone register to vote but there were still quite a few that waited till they got outside to actually fill out their form and the DPOC was there to help with any questions.
Nearby was a booth covered in red white and blue with someone dressed up as Uncle Sam and a cardboard cutout of Abraham Lincoln. There was no Republican Party sign proudly displayed on their booth like the DPOC’s, but I was able to find out that it was the Lincoln Club of Orange County. (Hence the Lincoln cutout) I was confused at first as to why the Republicans had a cutout of Lincoln, as opposed to a more recent President such as Reagan or Bush but I later found out that the Republican Party of Orange County had no presence there, it was a mixture of members from the Lincoln Club and some women’s federation.
People were very enthusiastic as they exited the convention center, hugging their loved ones, and taking pictures with the cutout of President Obama that the DPOC had at their booth as well as the gentleman dressed as Uncle Sam by the Lincoln Club’s booth. One incredibly enthusiastic new citizen burst out of the convention center right by the DPOC’s booth and yelled “One more DEMOCRAT!” His name was Leopold and had moved to this country 10 years ago to be an actor and said he was proud to now be able to vote as a Democrat saying that he was “definitely 100% Democrat.”
The Anaheim Convention Center is host to naturalization ceremonies twice a year with the next ceremony taking place in March.