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10 November 2011

A Commitment to Those Who Serve Every Day

Although Veterans Day falls on November 11 each year, USCIS honors those who serve year round. We appreciate the many sacrifices service men and women make while protecting our country.

Naturalization Ceremonies Held in Honor of Veterans Day

Since 2001, USCIS has naturalized 75,000 U.S. veterans from every branch of the Armed Services at special military naturalization ceremonies. This year is no different. In honor of Veterans Day, we are holding 33 special naturalization ceremonies for individuals who swore to defend our country, even before they became its citizens.

One of these ceremonies took place aboard the USS Essex in Subic Bay, Manila where we naturalized 18 U.S. sailors. The sailors were in the Philippines as part of the 28th annual U.S.-Philippines Amphibious Landing Exercises.

The Presentation of the Colors on board the USS Essex (photo courtesy of the United States Navy)

The Presentation of the Colors on board the USS Essex (photo courtesy of the United States Navy)

Capt. Dave Fluker, Commanding Officer of the USS Essex, and U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, Harry K. Thomas Jr., spoke at the ceremony. Thomas noted that the sailors were among the many people enriching the fabric of our nation with their culture and traditions, as well as the sacrifices they make on behalf of our country.

The Oath of Allegiance is Administered in Subic Bay (photo courtesy of the United States Navy)

The Oath of Allegiance is Administered in Subic Bay (photo courtesy of the United States Navy)

Two of the naturalized sailors were born and raised near Subic Bay, and then immigrated to the United States and enlisted in the U.S. Navy.

A Proud Part of the Wider DHS Commitment to Veterans

At USCIS, and throughout the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), we are fortunate to count those who have served as friends and colleagues. Every day, veterans bring their skills, talents and experiences to bear on our many mission areas.

Because veterans play such an important role in our Department’s mission, Secretary Napolitano set a goal to employ 50,000 veterans at DHS by the end of 2012. We are proud that today, thanks to the commitment of individuals across the Department, we have reached that goal, more than a year ahead of schedule. Veterans now comprise 25 percent of our civilian workforce, in addition to the 49,000 active duty and reserve members of the U.S. Coast Guard.

To read more about the Department’s commitment to veterans, check out this blog post written by our Deputy Secretary, Jane Holl Lute, on The White House Blog.

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08 November 2011

Ensuring that International Entrepreneurs Continue to Create Jobs Here in America

Posted by Alejandro Mayorkas, Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Yesterday morning in Nashville Tennessee, I participated in a panel discussion co-hosted by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Partnership for a New American Economy on the economic benefits of smart immigration policy. Nashville has become a magnet for entrepreneurs and innovation, and highly skilled immigrants play an important role in the area’s economic growth. The community and business leaders I heard from, said that we need to encourage the best and brightest foreign talent to work and remain in the United States.

As the Director of the agency that oversees our nation’s legal immigration system, I know, firsthand, the important role our immigration policy can have on our economy. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has worked hard to help realize the full potential of existing immigration laws. To do that, we need to leverage our immigration laws to make sure that the next generation of international entrepreneurs continues creating jobs right here in America.

Recently, USCIS announced a series of initiatives to encourage economic growth through our immigration policy. We are making important changes in the way we adjudicate cases in the EB-5 immigrant investor program, a program designed to create jobs in America. We launched the Entrepreneurs in Residence initiative to help ensure that our policies and processes reflect the realities of the businesses we serve by bringing industry expertise in-house. Just last week, we also began offering a new filing option for businesses filing for multiple L intracompany transferees to streamline and improve the adjudication process.

These initiatives, and our efforts to streamline our visa processes, are key components of a government-wide effort to encourage the best and brightest foreign talent to work and remain in the United States. We look forward to continuing to find opportunities to further our mission and do our part to advance American opportunity and prosperity.

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04 November 2011

USCIS invites you to participate in "Enlace" this Wednesday, November 9 at 3:30PM EST

On Wednesday, November 9, 2011, at 3:30PM (EST), the USCIS Office of Public Engagement invites customers and stakeholders to participate in "Enlace".

This engagement is a free Spanish-language event where USCIS shares agency updates, a presentation focused on our E-Verify “Know Your Rights: Employee Rights and Responsibilities" campaign and provide an open forum segment to respond to general questions from the public. A panel consisting of representatives from USCIS and the Department of Justice will facilitate the discussion. Individuals may participate during the event by live Web stream, via teleconference at 1-888-947-9020: Passcode=Enlace, or by submitting their questions via email to uscis-live@dhs.gov.  For general questions about our Enlace engagements, please email the USCIS Office of Public Engagement at public.engagement@dhs.gov.

USCIS le invita a participar en "Enlace" este miércoles 9 de noviembre a las 3:30 PM (EST)

La Oficina de Enlace Público de USCIS invita a sus clientes y públicos de interés a participar en el próximo “Enlace”, el miércoles 9 de noviembre de 2011 a las 3:00 PM (EST).

Este actividad es un  evento en español totalmente libre de costo en el cual USCIS compartirá las últimas notificaciones de la agencia y ofrecerá una presentación en torno a nuestra campaña “E-Verify, Conozca sus Derechos: Derechos y Responsabilidades del Empleado”. También proveerá un segmento de foro abierto para responder a preguntas generales del público. Un panel consistente de representantes de USCIS y el Departamento de Justicia facilitará la discusión. Las personas pueden participar durante el evento mediante Web stream en vivo, vía teleconferencia en el 1-888-947-9020: Contraseña=Enlace, o enviando sus preguntas vía correo electrónico a uscis-live@dhs.gov. Si tiene preguntas generales acerca de nuestros eventos de “Enlace”, por favor, envíe un correo electrónico a la Oficina de Enlace Público a public.engagement@dhs.gov.