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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

World Refugee Day: Special Naturalization Ceremony

Notice to the Press
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 20, 2012


The Department of State and Department of Homeland Security will co-host a World Refugee Day Naturalization Ceremony Thursday, June 21, at 3:00 p.m. in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the Department of State.

The collaboration brings together the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). At the ceremony, 19 naturalization candidates who came to the United States as refugees will take the Oath of Allegiance to become U.S. citizens.

Participants from the State Department include: Deputy Secretary William Burns, Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Maria Otero, this year’s recipient of the Outstanding American by Choice award, and Anne C. Richard, Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration. Other participants include: DHS Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute, USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas, and Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough. UNHCR Goodwill Envoy Khaled Hosseini will also receive the Outstanding American by Choice award.

The event is open to credentialed members of the media.

Pre-set for video cameras: 2:15 p.m. from the 23rd Street Entrance Lobby.

Final access for journalists and still photographers: 2:45 p.m. from the 23rd Street Entrance Lobby.

Media representatives may attend this event upon presentation of one of the following: (1) A U.S. Government-issued identification card (Department of State, White House, Congress, Department of Defense or Foreign Press Center), (2) a media-issued photo identification card, or (3) a letter from their employer on letterhead verifying their employment as a journalist, accompanied by an official photo identification card (driver's license, passport).


Deb Sisbarro, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration,

U.S. Department of State, (202) 453-9339

Office of Press Relations

U.S. Department of State, (202) 647-2492

PRN: 2012/1016

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