President Hosts July 4th Naturalization Ceremony for Service Members06 Jul 2012
Thousands of immigrants are currently serving in the United States military. At a naturalization ceremony held at the White House on July 4th, 2012, President Obama welcomed 25 active duty service members – all of them immigrants – as some of America’s newest citizens. The President also used the occasion to urge Congress to resolve the immigration reform standoff, once and for all. (See Obama Hosts Naturalization Ceremony, Presses Congress on Immigration Reform,” by Debbie Siegelbaum, The Hill, July 4, 2012.)
In a brief address, President Obama underscored the truth too often forgotten in the controversy over immigration policy: that from the start, America has been a nation of immigrants; that, far from being a liability, immigration is in fact the source of our greatest strength:
“… the lesson of these 236 years is clear – immigration makes America stronger. Immigration makes us more prosperous. And immigration positions America to lead in the 21st century. And these young men and women are testaments to that. No other nation in the world welcomes so many new arrivals. No other nation constantly renews itself, refreshes itself with the hopes, and the drive, and the optimism, and the dynamism of each new generation of immigrants.” (See Remarks by the President at Naturalization Ceremony, White House Press Release, July 4, 2012.)
Immigrants built this country, the President reminded his audience, and “immigrants and their descendants helped pioneer new industries and fuel our Information Age, from Google to the iPhone.” All of us partake of this history, he said, so if you want to see who immigrants are, it’s not “them,” but “us” – just look in the mirror!
We congratulate all of these new Americans and welcome them to the shared life of this great nation. Their service is a lesson for every day of the year!
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