Speech for Naturalization Ceremony – Albuquerque, NM

Heather WilsonRemarks by The Honorable Heather Wilson
Former Member of Congress
Naturalization Ceremony
Convention Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico
March 5, 2010

It’s such a pleasure to be with you to celebrate this wonderful day in your lives. Let me be one of the first to welcome you as America’s newest citizens. Many Americans take this gift of citizenship for granted. Many of us are here because our forefathers, at some point, made the choice you just made.

We didn’t have to pass a test, or know the Constitution, or demonstrate that we can speak English. You’ve made a choice. You waited. You worked hard. You studied. And now, as someone told me at a previous nationalization ceremony, you get to have a second birthday: the day you became an American. And from now on, when someone asks you your nationality, you can smile and say those wonderful words, “I’m an American.”

Over 230 years ago, a sparsely populated collection of colonies on the edge of a vast continent embarked on an experiment in self-government that was not expected to succeed. Men and some women who had a great deal to lose pledged everything they had – their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor – to secure liberty and prove that a people could govern themselves. Many of those men who signed the declaration of independence did lose their lives, and their fortunes, and their families to secure our liberty. But none of them – not one – ever turned their back on their pledge. They never lost their honor.

These founding Americans were some of the first to let go of their past in order to build a new future. You are some of the most recent.
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Richarson Tagged for Commerce Post

Speculation of Bill Richardson’s appointment as Commerce Secretary has been swirling around New Mexico for at least two weeks. Democratic officials have now confirmed that Richardson will be named to the post by Barack Obama on Wednesday.

Richardson started in the House of Representatives before joining the Clinton Administration as Secretary of Energy and U.N. Ambassador. While serving as Governor of New Mexico he became the first Hispanic candidate for President. After dropping out of the race early, the Gov. got a visit from Bill Clinton to watch football and insure his endorsement of Hillary. When Richardson endorsed Obama, relationships were understandably strained.

Turns out the Gov. was backing the winning horse.

Richardson’s leadership as Governor has been marked with economic success and practical politics even though he has been at odds with Evangelicals in the state. Building the Rail Runner, providing $400,000 in life insurance to NM military, establishing the Spaceport partnership, and growing the film industry have been major successes. Providing a driver’s license to illegal immigrants has been controversial. Richardson has continued his work on international politics. These activities have been his most favorable and well-reported accomplishments.

I QUIT. er, maybe not.

ArmijoDemocratic candidate for state auditor Jeff Armijo withdrew his nomination on August 30. Two different women have accused Armijo of sexual harrassment. One charge was filed in August 2006 and the other in 2003. After meeting with Gov. Bill Richardson and other party leaders Armijo agreed it was best to withdraw. Gov. Richardson immediately suggested that a replacement candidate would be committed to the highest ethical standards.

Oops! says Armijo. ‘I didn’t really mean to withdraw.’ In fact, he now wants back in the race less than a week after withdrawing.
We really need better candidates to run to for both state and federal office.