Department of Children and Families
David E. Wilkins
June 15, 2012
Central Region Public Information Officer,
ORLANDO - The Florida Department of Children and Families, the US. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), City of Orlando Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Orlando Area Refugee Task Force are celebrating World Refugee Day. World Refugee Day is celebrated "to draw attention to the plight of millions of people uprooted by conflict and persecution," according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. On Monday, June 18, the City of Orlando Office of Multicultural Affairs will be hosting the 2012 World Refugee Day Naturalization Ceremony. USCIS Tampa District Director Ruth Dorochoff will administer the Oath of Allegiance to 30 candidates who will become America's newest citizens. The citizenship candidates are from 14 countries, many of them historically refugee countries: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Egypt, El Salvador, Haiti, Mexico, Nepal, Peru, Serbia and Montenegro, Ukraine, and Vietnam.
Orlando City Commissioner Samuel B. Ings will offer welcoming remarks. The Key Note Speaker is Attorney Mercedes Leon who is a former refugee from Cuba and has overcome adversities to achieve her dreams. Several individuals will receive awards of recognition during the ceremony to honor their achievements since arriving in the US.
There were a total of 3,861 refugees resettled in the Central Region between October 1, 2010 and September 30, 2011. The largest number being from Cuba (1,784) followed by Haiti (961), Venezuela (219), Colombia (194), Iraq (127) and the remainder from various other countries.
Refugees are persons who flee to our country for protection from persecution in their homeland. They are unwilling to return to their country for fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political beliefs or membership from a social group. The Department of Children and Families oversees refugee services for the state and serves as a funding source to the multiple social services organizations who provide direct case management to those who have fled their home country and cannot return for fear of persecution.
This event is a collaborative effort with the USCIS, City of Orlando Office of Multicultural Affairs, DCF and the Orlando Area Refugee Task Force.
WHO: USCIS, DCF, City of Orlando Office of Multicultural Affairs, Orlando Area Refugee Task Force
WHEN: Monday, June 18, 2012, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
WHERE: Rotunda at Orlando City Hall, 400 South Orange Avenue, Orlando, Florida 32801