Michelle Obama turned a swearing-in ceremony for 50 new US citizens yesterday into a call for action to be taken on the issue of immigration reform, which continues to stall in Congress. “In many ways, it is because of ‒ not in spite of ‒ our immigrant population that we grow stronger every single day,” the newest Americans were told by the first lady.
50 people from 44 different countries, including Zimbabwe and Afghanistan, took the oath in the suitably-historic environment of the National Archives rotunda, which displays the original copies of the US Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence. After the ceremony, the proud new bearers of US citizenship waved small American flags and were treated to a hug from Mrs Obama.
The first lady was speaking to more than just the 50 people in front of her when she gave a speech to the new citizens. She stated that the fact that the United States is a nation of immigrants is one of the primary reasons behind the success of the country, and recited small business, military and arts and science statistics to get her point across.
“Yet today in Washington, folks are still debating whether or not to fix our immigration system even though just about everyone agrees that it is broken,” Mrs Obama noted, going on to say that that the president’s legislative priority remains immigration reform and that he intends to keep on fighting to achieve this.