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Politics & Government

Twenty Boise Refugees Will Be Naturalized Saturday During World Refugee Day

Idaho Office for Refugees
Refugees will give their Oath of Allegiance to the U.S. Saturday in downtown Boise during World Refugee Day.

Boise will celebrate World Refugee Day on Saturday in the Grove Plaza by holding a naturalization ceremony for 20 refugees.

The path to citizenship is a process that can take years, so these refugees are getting ready to celebrate their official status as citizens.

Moses Mukengezi is with the Agency for New Americans, where he works to help refugees become self-sufficient. The agency is one of the organizers of the event.

“They are proud of becoming americans, so it gets emotional for a lot of people,” says Mukengezi.

He came to Boise at 13 years old as a refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. But since his arrival 11 years ago, the Trump Administration has implemented new policies that have limited the number of refugees allowed to come to the U.S. each year.

“We’ve definitely seen a marked decrease in folks that are actually coming here to the United States and coming to Idaho,” says Kara Fink with the Idaho Office for Refugees.

Some refugees in Boise are waiting to be reunited with family members who have not been able to leave their home countries due to stricter rules.

The Saturday naturalization ceremony will begin at 11:00 a.m. in the Grove Plaza, but the celebration will continue through the early afternoon.

Follow Blake Simony on Twitter @BlakeSimony for more news.

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