U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will celebrate the grand opening of its new field office and application support center in Bedford on Thursday, Sept. 2, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, naturalization ceremony and tours of the facility. USCIS Associate Regional Director Shelley Goodwin will preside during the naturalization ceremony and will administer the Oath of Allegiance to 25 citizenship candidates. She will be joined by USCIS’ Boston District Director Denis Riordan and USCIS’ Manchester Field Office Director Simon Abi Nader.
Gov. John Lynch will join USCIS and delivering remarks for the special naturalization ceremony. Joining USCIS for the ribbon-cutting ceremony will be Bedford Town Manager Russell Marcoux, Mayor of Manchester Ted Gatsas and Glenn C. Rotondo, acting regional administrator of General Services Administration, New England region.
The new office, at 9 Ridgewood Road, will provide a range of immigration services, including naturalization interviews, lawful permanent resident processing, fingerprinting and photographic services and is well-suited to serve the area’s immigrant community. The new facility replaces the former Manchester location on Canal Street. The new office is based on a national model for new USCIS office locations throughout the country.
The new building is being dedicated to Sgt. Major Abraham Cohn, Civil War Medal of Honor recipient. Cohn was born in 1832 in Guttentag, an East Prussian town. He immigrated to the U.S. in the mid-19th century and fought for the Union during the Civil War serving with the 6th New Hampshire Infantry Volunteers. He was awarded the Medal of Honor “for conspicuous gallantry” in the Battle of the Wilderness (May 6, 1864) and “for bravery & coolness” at the Battle of the Crater (July 30, 1864).
The 25 citizenship candidates originate from 13 countries: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, China, France, Iran, Kosovo, Malaysia, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, Sudan, Thailand and United Kingdom. The ribbon cutting will take place at 11 a.m. with the naturalization ceremony to follow at 1 p.m.