President Barack Obama used an Independence Day ceremony in which immigrants serving in the U.S. military became citizens on Wednesday July 4th to renew his election-year call for new immigration laws popular with an important part of his political base, reported news agency Reuters.
In the East Room of the White House, 25 active members of the military from 17 countries declared their allegiance to the United States and became U.S. citizens.
The president proclaimed that “America’s success demands comprehensive immigration reform” and that a “Dream Act,” legislation that would give young illegal immigrants a path toward permanent residency, was still necessary.
“For just as we remain a nation of laws, we have to remain a nation of immigrants. That’s why as another step forward we’re lifting the shadow of deportation…from deserving young people who were brought to this country as children. That’s why we still need a Dream Act to keep talented young people who want to contribute to our society and serve our country,” the president said.
The president also declared the naturalization ceremony as the “perfect way to celebrate America’s birthday.” He also said of the group, “All of you did something profound. You chose to serve. You put on the uniform of a country that was not yet fully your own in a time of war. Some of you deployed into harm’s way. You displayed the values that we celebrate every Fourth of July: Duty, responsibility and patriotism.”