Famed Spanish restaurateur and chef José Andrés arrived in the United States in 1991 with $50 and a set of cooking knives. Now he has 21 restaurants across the country in places like Miami and Washington.
Andrés, who became a U.S. citizen two years ago, is one of President Obama’s first official ambassadors for citizenship and naturalization. This pretty much means that he is tasked with inspiring and encouraging eligible immigrants to take the oath of citizenship.
The White House campaign is part of Obama’s Task Force on New Americans, a new government-wide effort to aimed at better integrating immigrants and refugees into American communities (and presumably, increasing the number of eligible voters).
Recent immigration data shows that more than 8 million people are eligible to become U.S. citizens, but haven’t taken the leap. That includes more than 3 million refugees who have resettled in the United States since 1975.
Andrés arrived from Northern Spain on an E-2 investor visa, and has become an outspoken advocate for immigrants and critic of Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric.
In a video released this week by the White House, Andrés urged viewers to take the step to becoming American citizens.