By Pam Maldonado

 

Each year the UNHCR (UN High Council on Refugees) designates a day in June as WORLD REFUGEE DAY, where all around the world communities, schools, businesses, faith groups and people from all walks of life express their solidarity with refugees.  On June 27th, our local Palm Beach County event was held at the PBSC Main campus, with the participation of many local NGO’s and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  The highlight of the day was a naturalization ceremony where 100 people, from 37 countries, took the oath of citizenship.

Following the ceremony, the new citizens attended a services fair where they could get forms to apply for Social Security, as well as to inquire about assistance from local agencies.

An enthusiastic League team, headed by Arlene Ustin, was there to register the new citizens.  With huge smiles on their faces, they flocked to our table—taxing our ability to handle them all.

Several of them agreed to be videotaped for our social media sites, and almost all of them spoke about being pleased that now they can participate fully in our democracy.

What a beautiful day!  It was such a joy to be a part of it.

World Refugee Day
Florida DCF Refugee Services Program
Arlene Ustin, Kathy Smith, Pam Maldonado, Miriam Bracero-Rosario from the Florida DCF Refugee Services Program, Greg Behun and Marcia Bahia of PBSO. Standing is Alice Mann.
New citizens register to vote
Arlene Ustin, Barbara Eriv, Greg Behun and Alice Mann assist new citizens to register to vote.