On Wednesday, July 4, President Obama held a naturalization ceremony at the White House, welcoming 25 members of the military originally from 17 different countries as new American citizens. Obama’s thoughts via Byron York at Washington Examiner:
We’re still perfecting our union, still extending the promise of America. That’s why, as another step forward, we’re lifting the shadow of deportation from serving — from deserving young people who were brought to this country as children. It’s why we still need a DREAM Act — to keep talented young people who want to contribute to our society and serve our country. It’s why we need — why America’s success demands — comprehensive immigration reform.
According to Yahoo Noticias, the President specifically honored Francisco Ballesteros de la Rosa, a formerly undocumented immigrant who had joined the Marines in 2009 and won a medal of service.
“Becoming a citizen was for Francisco a step in the right direction. So today we congratulate you,” said the President in his salute to the Marine.
Unlike some other candidates, Obama has been fairly consistent about wanting to put the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the country on a path toward citizenship. As Jose Antonio Vargas put it in the Huffington Post, “When Obama issued a directive to stop the deportation of an estimated 1 million DREAM Act-eligible undocumented youth and welcome them to our workforce, America, in turn, embraced 1 million dreams“.
You can view pictures from the event below.