CCD employee resettled by Refugee Services becomes citizen
After immigrating to the United States six years ago and going through resettlement with our Refugee Services team, Nidham Al-Koofee, became an American citizen on January 26. For the last six months, Nidham has worked for Catholic Charities Dallas as a pre-arrival case manager.
His journey to the United States and becoming an American citizen began in 2006 when he was living in Iraq. After working as an interpreter for the U.S. Marines, Nidham applied to immigrate to the United States in late 2006. He put the process on hold and didn’t begin again until around 2010. At that point, it took until January of 2016 for him and his family to receive their visas.
His U.S. sponsor connected with CCD on Nidham’s behalf. Once his family arrived, they had a fully furnished apartment, thanks to Refugee Services. Nidham credits CCD with making his transition to the U.S. smoother.
“It’s a big role for Catholic Charities since they helped me to apply for social security, which is very important,” Nidham said. “Also with the green card, because as soon as I got these papers, I started to move along with my life since I had to wait at least five years to get my citizenship.”
Nidham says he enjoys working in his role as a pre-arrival case manager at CCD, especially since he is one of the first people refugees meet when they arrive at the airport.
“I know what they feel, what they’re thinking,” Nidham said.
He’s very excited to become a U.S. citizen and to become even more of a part of the community here.
“I’m going to be able to be part of the community affecting the way of life here through voting, and that’s a big thing for me, to get to vote, to determine what’s good, what’s bad for our country.”
Congratulations to Nidham for this accomplishment!