For a refugee who is a survivor of torture, traumatic reminders of the past can be found anywhere at any time.
This is even true on what should be a joyous day–interviewing for U.S. citizenship. For refugees, gaining citizenship can be a source of great pride and a way to mark a new beginning. Walking past a uniformed guard at the entrance of the Robert A. Young Federal Building and entering a small, windowless room where the interview occurs can make the experience feel more like an interrogation than a test.
Places for People (PfP) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently worked together to decrease the chance of re-traumatizing survivors of torture who are interviewing for U.S. citizenship.