U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services marked the opening of a new field office and application support center in New Orleans with ceremonies Feb. 5 that featured remarks by USCIS Director León Rodríguez and a naturalization ceremony for 28 people. The field office is in Suite 1800 at 1250 Poydras St.

Rodríguez administered the Oath of Allegiance to 28 people from the following 20 countries: Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

USCIS is an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that oversees the legal immigration system. The new office provides a range of immigration services, including naturalization interviews and lawful permanent resident processing. The office serves residents of Louisiana and southern Mississippi. The new facility replaces the previous location on Edenborn Avenue in Metairie and will serve about 175 customers a day.

Following USCIS tradition, the new building was dedicated to an immigrant Medal of Honor recipient, in this case, John Beaufort, born in France in 1831. Beaufort received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his service during the Civil War during the Battle of Port Hudson in Louisiana. He later naturalized in New Orleans.