Refugees To Celebrate World Refugee Day By Becoming U.S. Citizens On June 16


Naturalization Ceremony in Tampa to Celebrate World Refugee Day

TAMPA – Dozens of immigrants from countries with displaced and refugee populations will celebrate World Refugee Day by becoming U.S. citizens. On June 16 in Tampa, 36 refugees and asylees currently living in the Tampa Bay area will proudly take the Oath of Allegiance to become citizens of the United States. The citizenship ceremony is part of a special World Refugee Day event to honor the courage and resilience of refugees. Last year, 3,147 refugees, through the Florida Department of Children & Families' Refugee Services Program, were resettled to the Tampa Bay area with the majority arriving to Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties.

WHO: Florida Department of Children and Families: Taddese Fessehaye, Refugee Services
                U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): Leslie Meeker, Field Office Director
                Tampa Bay Refugee Task Force
                Zaid Al Zaid, Iraqi Refugee
                Nejra Colic, Bosnian Refugee & Northeast High School Salutatorian

WHAT: World Refugee Day event with USCIS Naturalization Ceremony

WHEN: Tuesday, June 16, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

WHERE: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Tampa Field Office 5629 Hoover Blvd., Tampa 33634

More than 32,000 refugees are resettled in Florida each year. The Department of Children & Families’ Refugee Services program is funded by the federal government to coordinate and oversee many of the services provided to refugees who settle in Florida. These services, including employment, adult education, legal assistance, and youth services, have served close to 14,000 refugees in the Tampa Bay area in the past five years. For more information on refugee services, visit:

Editor’s Note: All attendees, including media, must go through security. Current and former refugees will be available to speak with the media to share their story.

Contact: Natalie Harrell, DCF SunCoast Region Communications Director, (813) 337-5854