LEWISTON — The first U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services naturalization ceremony in the city will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, June 15, at the Lewiston Middle School auditorium.
At the special Flag Day naturalization ceremony (Flag Day is Thursday) applicants for citizenship will take the Oath of Allegiance and become United States citizens, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
There will be 52 candidates from 23 countries sworn in as citizens, said Eva Giles, director of Lewiston Adult Education, who is helping organize the ceremony. The 52 individuals come from 23 countries: Argentina, Bosnia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chad, China, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Iraq, Jamaica, Morocco, Nigeria, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Somalia, Sudan, Trinidad, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
"This is the first time it's going to be held in Lewiston; that's very exciting," Giles said. "Many times folks from Lewiston-Auburn have to go to other cities, like Portland or Yarmouth."
Lewiston Mayor Robert Macdonald will offer a welcome. Central Maine Community College President Scott Knapp will give some remarks, and Somali Bantu native Rilwan Osman, who helps immigrants prepare for citizenship, will lead in the pledge, Giles said. Another speaker will be Sally Blauvelt, field office director for the Portland U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services.
To become a citizens, candidates have to live in the country for five years, prepare for an interview and pass a test.