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50 YOUNG PEOPLE TO BE RECOGNIZED AS U.S. CITIZENS IN MARCH 9 CEREMONY AT JAMESTOWN SETTLEMENT

WILLIAMSBURG, Va., February 26, 2013 – A Certificate of Citizenship ceremony for children of recently naturalized United States citizens will be held on Saturday, March 9, at Jamestown Settlement, a museum of 17th-century Virginia.  The event is hosted by the Williamsburg Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) and the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation in partnership with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of the Department of Homeland Security.

Fifty young people ages 13 to 19 from 28 countries – Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina,  Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Mexico, Nepal, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russia, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam – will take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States and receive formal acknowledgement of their citizenship.  The ceremony begins at 2 p.m. and is open to the public on a space-available basis.

“We are proud to join with the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation and USCIS to sponsor this truly special ceremony for a second year,” said Pamela R. Meiring, regent for the Williamsburg Chapter NSDAR, which co-sponsors an adult naturalization ceremony annually in December with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.  “It’s appropriate to hold it at Jamestown Settlement, near where some of the very first immigrants to our country came ashore.”
    
Featured speaker for the event is WVEC-TV 13 news anchor Lucy Bustamante, whose parents are naturalized U.S. citizens, her mother from Spain and father from Cuba. Born and raised in New Orleans, La., Bustamante holds a mass communications degree from Loyola University. She is the recipient of an Edward R. Murrow Award honoring outstanding achievement in the field of electronic journalism.

USCIS Norfolk Field Office Director Stephanie Reither will administer the Oath of Allegiance to participants and, with Immigration Services Officer Kokou Galli, present each with a Certificate of Citizenship.  Individuals who are under 18 at the time their parents are naturalized are eligible to a Certificate of Citizenship.  Those age 14 and over are required to take the Oath of Allegiance before a USCIS officer.

Others with a role in the program are members of the George Wythe Society Children of the American Revolution (C.A.R.) and Jamestown Settlement Honor Guard, who will escort the 50 participants into Jamestown Settlement’s Robins Foundation Theater; Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation Deputy Executive Director of Administration J. Jeffrey Lunsford; Williamsburg Chapter NSDAR Regent Pamela R. Meiring and Second Vice Regent and Americanism Chairman Joni Stevens; George Wythe Society C.A.R. President Madison Pons; and vocalist Jane Hanson.

Following the ceremony, participants and their families will be provided a guided tour of Jamestown Settlement, which chronicles 17th-century Virginia and the convergence of American Indian, European and African cultures through gallery exhibits and historical interpretation in outdoor settings:  replicas of the three ships that brought America’s first permanent English colonists to Virginia in 1607 and re-creations of a Powhatan Indian village and 1610-14 English fort.  Operated by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, an educational agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, Jamestown Settlement is located on State Route 31 in James City County, just southwest of the City of Williamsburg.  For information about the museum, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838 or visit hif.ciniva.net.

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Information contact:
Tracy Perkins, (757) 253-4114,
tracy.perkins@jyf.virginia.gov