USCIS Holds Special Naturalization Ceremony for the 30th Anniversary of the Refugee Act
WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), in a special naturalization ceremony today, celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Refugee Act of 1980. USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas welcomed 27 former refugees and asylees from 10 different countries as new United States citizens and acknowledged the dedication of USCIS’ Refugee, Asylum and International Operations Directorate (RAIO) officers.
“Our nation continues its distinguished tradition as a place of refuge for women and men from around the world,” said Director Mayorkas. “We stand as a beacon of hope and opportunity for many who seek a better life for themselves and their love ones.”
“I want to commend these officers for their dedicated service on behalf of refugees and asylum seekers and for working tirelessly to achieve our precious humanitarian mission while maintaining the integrity of the immigration system,” said Lori Scialabba, RAIO Associate Director. “Last year alone, USCIS processed 110,000 refugee applicants in 79 countries and completed 33,867 asylum applications.”
As part of the USCIS humanitarian mission, USCIS officers interview refugee and asylum applicants to determine those eligible for protection. RAIO officers have assumed a level of risk themselves, working and traveling around the globe to interview vulnerable populations. Since the enactment of the Refugee Act of 1980, the United States has offered protection to approximately 2.5 million refugees and 500,000 asylees.
The new citizens naturalized at today’s ceremony hailed from the following countries: Bhutan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Pakistan, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan and Vietnam.
For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit www.uscis.gov or call our National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.