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New immigration benefits office opens in Baltimore

6/6/2014, 6 a.m.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) celebrated the grand opening of the new Baltimore field office on Friday, May 30, ...
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services management and staff Lori Scialabba; Daniel Renaud; Katherine Patterson; Andrew Fontanez; Gregory Collett; Conrad Zaragoza; Sara Manzano-Diaz; and John Libaire at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new field office in Baltimore on Friday, May 30, 2014. Tyrone R. Eaton

— U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) celebrated the grand opening of the new Baltimore field office on Friday, May 30, 2014 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, a children’s citizenship ceremony and tours of the new facility. Additionally, USCIS dedicated the office in memory of immigrant Medal of Honor recipient Adolphe Libaire, who earned the Medal of Honor for service during the Civil War at the Battle of Antietam in Antietam, Maryland.

Acting USCIS Director Lori Scialabba issued a special Oath of Allegiance to 25 young people, ages 14 to 17. The children are from the following 17 countries: Afghanistan, Canada, China, Cote D'Ivoire, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France, India, Iraq, Israel, Jamaica, Latvia, Pakistan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Venezuela.

“This new Baltimore district and field office will allow the US Citizenship and Immigration Services to operate more efficiently. Having everyone located on one floor will now allow people using the center’s services and the staff to work together in a more conducive manor,” said Gregory Collett, a representative with USCIS.

“As part of the opening [ceremony] 21 children from 15 countries will become United States citizens today. Citizenship is an important step for every person coming to the country and having this new office will allow us to better serve the 20,000 visitors excepted to utilize the services of the Baltimore office annually.”

USCIS oversees the legal immigration system in this country. The new office, located at 3701 Koppers Street in Baltimore will provide a range of immigration services, including naturalization interviews and permanent resident processing. The office employs approximately 120 people and serves roughly 40,000 Marylanders each yea