Full Text Obama Presidency July 4, 2014: President Barack Obama’s Speech at Naturalization Ceremony for Servicemembers and Military Spouses about Immigration Reform

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

Remarks by the President at Naturalization Ceremony for Servicemembers and Military Spouses

Source: WH, 7-4-14

East Room

11:24 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, everybody.  Please be seated.  Good morning and welcome to the White House.  And Happy Fourth of July!  (Applause.)

Deputy Secretary Mayorkas, thank you for taking care of the important part of this morning, which is administering the oath — that’s the thing that we want to make sure we got right.  (Laughter.)  To Acting Deputy Director Jones, to family, friends, distinguished guests — thank you all for being here.  And finally, to these 25 men and women, servicemembers and spouses, it is an honor to join everyone here, for the first time, in calling you “our fellow Americans.”

Now, this is one of my favorite events to do — and not just because we get to have a barbeque and watch fireworks later.  (Laughter.)  It’s because each of you has traveled a long journey to this moment — journeys that began in places like Jamaica and Germany, China and Guatemala.  And yet somehow — either because your parents brought you here as children, or because you made the choice yourselves as adults — you ended up here, in America.

And then many of you did something extraordinary:  You signed up to serve in the United States military.  You answered the call –- to fight and potentially to give your life for a country that you didn’t fully belong to yet.  You understood what makes us American is not just circumstances of birth, or the names in our family tree.  It’s that timeless belief that from many we are one; that we are bound together by adherence to a set of beliefs and unalienable rights; that we have certain obligations to each other, to look after each other, and to serve one another.  And over the years, that’s exactly what you’ve done.

Rodrigo Laquian came to the United States from the Philippines.  He joined the Navy because, he said, he “wanted to be a part of something big and important.  To be a part of a great cause.”  Today, Petty Officer Second Class Laquian is still part of that great cause — and today he’s also an American citizen.

Stephanie Van Ausdall moved here from Canada with her mom when she was 18 years old.  And today she’s 26 and a Sergeant in the Army.  Stephanie says she joined the military “to give my children someone to look up to and someone they can be proud of.”  Stephanie, I know that you’ve made your children and all of us very proud.

Oscar Gonzalez was born in Guatemala, and became a Marine last year.  Becoming a citizen, he says, means becoming part of a “society that strives and stands for good all around the world — just being a part of that makes me complete.”  Well, Oscar, welcoming you as an American citizen makes our country a little more complete, so thank you.

And then there are those of you who married an American servicemember, and as a military spouse, you’ve been serving our country as well.  Diana Baker is originally from Kenya and met her husband Kowaine in Germany.  Today she’s a nurse at Frederick Memorial Hospital in Maryland, and she and her husband have four beautiful children.  In Diana’s words, “Becoming a citizen of the United States is like joining a club of the best of the best.”  (Laughter.)  And I agree.  Congratulations, Diana, on joining the club.

Together, all of you remind us that America is and always has been a nation of immigrants.  Throughout our history, immigrants have come to our shores in wave after wave, from every corner of the globe.  Every one of us –- unless we’re Native American –- has an ancestor who was born somewhere else.

And even though we haven’t always looked the same or spoken the same language, as Americans, we’ve done big things together.  We’ve won this country’s freedom together.  We’ve built our greatest cities together.  We’ve defended our way of life together.  We’ve continued to perfect our union together.

And that’s what makes America special.  That’s what makes us strong.  The basic idea of welcoming immigrants to our shores is central to our way of life, it is in our DNA.  We believe our diversity, our differences, when joined together by a common set of ideals, makes us stronger, makes us more creative, makes us different.  From all these different strands, we make something new here in America.  And that’s why, if we want to keep attracting the best and brightest from beyond our borders, we’re going to have to fix our immigration system, which is broken, and pass commonsense immigration reform.

We shouldn’t be making it harder for the best and the brightest to come here, and create jobs here, and grow our economy here.  We should be making it easier.  And that’s why I’m going to keep doing —

(Audience member applauds.)

THE PRESIDENT:  He agrees with me.  (Laughter and applause.)  So I’m going to keep doing everything I can do to keep making our immigration system smarter and more efficient so hardworking men and women like all of you have the opportunity to join the American family and to serve our great nation.  So we can be stronger and more prosperous and more whole –- together.

I’ll close with a quick story.  George Mardikian was an immigrant from Armenia who became a famous chef.  And George had a quote that I think will ring true for most immigrants.  He said, “You who have been born in America, I wish I could make you understand what it is like not to be an American -– not to have been an American all your life -– and then, suddenly to be one, for that moment, and forever after.”

Today, on this Fourth of July, all across the country –- from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello to the Alamodome in Texas — immigrants from around the world are taking the oath of citizenship.  And many of them have worked and sacrificed for years to get to this moment.  All of them have done it for something none of us should ever take for granted:  the right to be called an American, from this moment, and forever after.

And that fact should give us hope and should make us confident about the future of our country.  Because as long as there are men and women like all of you who are willing to give so much for the right to call yourselves Americans, and as long as we do our part to keep the door open to those who are willing to earn their citizenship, then we’re going to keep on growing our economy, we’ll continue to journey forward, and we’ll remind the world of why the United States of America is and always will be the greatest nation on Earth.  We’re very proud of you.  Congratulations.

God bless you.  God bless the United States of America.  And now I’d like to turn it over to Deputy Secretary Mayorkas.  Congratulations.  (Applause.)

END
11:31 A.M. EDT

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Full Text Obama Presidency April 25, 2014: President Barack Obama’s Remarks at Naturalization Ceremony for Servicemembers

Remarks by President Obama at Naturalization Ceremony for Servicemembers

Source: WH, 4-25-14

The War Memorial of Korea
Seoul, Republic of Korea

1:28 P.M. KST

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Well, good afternoon.  Annyeonghaseyo.  It is an honor to be here at the War Memorial of Korea.  In a few moments, I’ll lay a wreath to pay tribute to our servicemembers who’ve given their lives in defense of our freedom.  And tomorrow, I’ll address our troops and civilians at Yongsan Garrison.

I have said before, I have no higher honor than serving as your Commander-in-Chief.  And today, I can think of no higher privilege than being here with all of you and your families for this special moment — becoming the newest citizens of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy.

I know that each of you have traveled your own path to this moment.  You come from 14 different countries.  Some of you have called Seoul home.  But a day came when each one of you did something extraordinary:  Thirteen of you made the profound decision to put on the uniform of a country that was not yet fully your own.  Seven of you married an American soldier -– and as a military spouse, that means you’ve been serving our country, too.

If there’s anything that this should teach us, it’s that America is strengthened by our immigrants.  I had a chance to talk to our Ambassador and our Commander here, and I said to them that there’s no greater strength, no greater essence of America than the fact that we attract people from all around the world who want to be part of our democracy.  We are a nation of immigrants — people from every corner, every walk of life, who picked up tools to help build our country, who started up businesses to advance our country, who took up arms to defend our country.

What makes us Americans is something more than just the circumstances of birth, what we look like, what God we worship, but rather it is a joyful spirit of citizenship.  Citizenship demands participation and responsibility, and service to our country and to one another.  And few embody that more than our men and women in uniform.

If we want to keep attracting the best and the brightest, the smartest and the most selfless the world has to offer, then we have to keep this in mind:  the value of our immigrants to our way of life.  It is central to who we are; it’s in our DNA.  It’s part of our creed.  And that means moving forward we’ve got to fix our broken immigration system and pass common-sense immigration reform.

This is a huge advantage to us — the talent that we attract.  We don’t want to make it harder; we want to make it more sensible, more efficient.  That’s why I’m going to keep on pushing to get this done this year, so that others like the young men and women here have the opportunity to join our American family and serve our great nation.

Today, I’m thrilled that, in a few moments, I’ll get to call each of you my fellow Americans.  I am so proud to be sharing this stage with you today.  Congratulations.  But I don’t want to talk too long because I’m not the main event.  Thank you very much for your service.  (Applause.)

END
1:32 P.M. KST

Full Text Obama Presidency March 25, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Speech at a Naturalization Ceremony for Active Duty Service Members and Civilians Pushes Congress to Move on Immigration Reform Bill

POLITICAL BUZZ

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

President Obama to new citizens: “In each of you, we see the true spirit of America”

Source: WH, 3-25-13

Watch this video on YouTube

Today, President Obama spoke at a at a naturalization ceremony for active duty service members and civilians at the White House. He welcomed 28 new American citizens to our nation of immigrants and called for reforms to our immigration system that will help harness the talent and ingenuity of all those like them who want to work hard and find a place here in America….READ MORE

Remarks by the President at a Naturalization Ceremony for Active Duty Service Members and Civilians

President Obama Speaks at a Naturalization Ceremony

President Obama Speaks at a Naturalization Ceremony

Source: WH, 3-25-13

East Room

11:36 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you so much.  (Applause.)  Well, good morning, everybody.  Secretary Napolitano, thank you for administering the oath and making it official.  Director Mayorkas, distinguished guests, family and friends, it is a great pleasure to have you here at the White House.  And it is an honor to be among the first to greet some of my fellow citizens of the United States.

Today, here in the people’s house — a house designed by an Irish immigrant — we welcome 28 men and women, immigrants themselves, who from this day forward have earned the precious right to call this country home.

And I know this is an incredibly special moment for you and your families, but I have to say, it’s a special moment for the rest of us as well.  Because as we look out across this room, we’re reminded that what makes somebody American isn’t just their bloodlines, it’s not just an accident of birth.  It’s a fidelity to our founding principles, a faith in the idea that anyone, anywhere, can write the next great chapter in this American story.

That’s the promise of America.  And today we know it’s alive and well in each and every one of you.

At first glance, of course, it would be easy to define this group by their differences.  They all hail from different corners of the world — from Nigeria to Nicaragua, from the Philippines to Peru.  They arrived here in different ways.  Some of you came here as children, carried by parents who wished for them a life that they had never had.  Others came as adults, leaving behind everything you knew to seek a new life.  But what binds you together — what binds us all together — is something more meaningful than anything of that.  A love for this country and all that it represents — that’s what unites each and every one of you.

For Nikita Kirichenko — there’s Nikita right here — that love runs so deep it led him to enlist in our military.  Nikita came here at the age of 11 from Ukraine.  His mother saw America as the one place on Earth where her son could do anything he wanted.  And a few years ago, Nikita decided that he wanted to join the Air Force so that, in his words, “I could give back to a country that took me in and gave me a better life.”  Thank you, Nikita.  Today, we proudly salute him not just as a member of our military but also as a citizen of our country.

Today, we salute Elrina Brits.  Where did Elrina go?  There she is.  Elrina was born in South Africa, came here as a child, grew up in Washington State.  When Elrina decided to join the Navy, somebody told her that she wouldn’t be able to cut it.  But even though she wasn’t yet American on paper, she had that American quality of being defiant when somebody says you can’t do something.  (Laughter.)  So she proved them wrong.  She deployed twice to the Middle East, once to Haiti, showcasing another quintessentially American impulse, and that’s helping others in need.  And as a new citizen, Elrina hopes to serve her country in a new way -– as a police officer.  So, congratulations, Elrina.

Elrina, Nikita, every member of the military with us have shown incredible patriotism; a willingness to risk their lives in defense of a nation that was not yet their own.  And that’s a remarkable act.  And it made each of them one of us.  It made each of them in some ways American even before it was official.  Because that kind of service and sacrifice has defined our nation for more than two centuries.

In America, we look out for one another.  We see citizenship not just as a collection of rights but also as a set of responsibilities.  That’s who we are.  And that’s what brought so many to our shores, including Kingsley Elebo.  Kingsley came here at the age of 35 from Nigeria, pursued his master’s in information technology.  He’s now pursuing his doctorate.  He wants to become a professor so he can help America lead the world in high-tech industries of tomorrow.  And what Kingsley said is, “What makes this country great is that if you’re a citizen you’re part of something bigger than yourself.”  And he’s right.  And we’re glad that, as of today, Kingsley is part of it, too.

We’re also glad to welcome Pertula George-Redd.  Pertula arrived in America from St. Lucia at the age of 23, leaving behind her parents and seven siblings.  She came here to study international development.  She stayed, for over a decade now, to work at non-profits that teach our kids about sustainable foods and how to live a healthier life by eating well — which I know Michelle is very happy about.  Today, she also has the gratitude of her new nation.  So, thank you so much.

We are so proud of everybody here.  In each of you, we see the true spirit of America.  And we see a bit of ourselves, too, because most of our stories trace back to moments just like this one.  To an ancestor who -– just like the men and women here today –- raised their right hand and recited that sacred oath.

And the point is that unless you are one of the first Americans, unless you are a Native American, you came from someplace else.  That’s why we’ve always defined ourselves as a nation of immigrants.  And we’ve always been better off for it.  The promise we see in those who come from all over the world is one of our greatest strengths.  It’s kept our workforce young.  It keeps our businesses on the cutting edge.  It’s helped to build the greatest economic engine that the world has ever known.  And you think about the drive and the determination that it took for each of these 28 men and women to reach this moment.  Imagine how far they’ll go from here, the kind of difference that they’ll be making on behalf of this country.

Immigration makes us a stronger.  It keeps us vibrant.  It keeps us hungry.  It keeps us prosperous.  It is part of what makes this such a dynamic country.  And if we want to keep attracting the best and the brightest that the world has to offer, then we need to do a better job of welcoming them.  We’ve known for years that our immigration system is broken, that we’re not doing enough to harness the talent and ingenuity of all those who want to work hard and find a place here in America.  And after avoiding the problem for years, the time has come to fix it once and for all.  The time has come for a comprehensive, sensible immigration reform.

Now, a couple months ago in Nevada — and then last month again in my State of the Union Address — I talked about how Republicans and Democrats were ready to tackle this problem together.  And the good news is that since then, we’ve seen some real action in Congress.  There are bipartisan groups in both the House and the Senate working to tackle this challenge, and I applaud them for that.  We are making progress, but we’ve got to finish the job, because this issue is not new.

Everyone pretty much knows what’s broken.  Everybody knows how to fix it.  We’ve all proposed solutions and we’ve got a lot of white papers and studies.  And we’ve just got, at this point, to work up the political courage to do what’s required to be done.  So I expect a bill to be put forward.  I expect the debate to begin next month.  I want to sign that bill into law as soon as possible.

We know that real reform means continuing to strengthen our border security and holding employers accountable.  We know that real reform means providing a responsible pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are currently living in the shadows — a pathway that includes passing a background check and paying taxes and a penalty, and learning English and then, going to the back of the line behind everyone else who is trying to come here legally.

We know that real reform requires modernizing the legal immigration system so that our citizens don’t have to wait years before their loved ones are able to join them in America, and so that we’re attracting the highly skilled entrepreneurs and engineers that are going to help create good paying jobs and grow our economy.

So let’s get this done, and let’s do it in a way that keeps faith with our history and our values.  And no other country on Earth welcomes as many new arrivals as us.  And as long as the promise of America endures, as long as we continue to stand tall as a beacon of hope and opportunity, then the world’s hardest workers, the hungriest entrepreneurs, the men and women who are willing to make enormous sacrifices to get a better life — not just for themselves but for their children and their grandchildren, they’re going to keep on coming.

And like the millions who came before — and like the 28 Americans who are here today — they will bring with them new hopes and new dreams, new ideas and new optimism about our future.  That will make us stronger.  That’s how we’ll make sure that our best days are ahead of us and not behind us.

So I want to thank each and every one of you for allowing me the opportunity to share in this incredible moment.  One of the best things I get to do as President of the United States is to address all of you as fellow citizens.  God bless you and God bless the United States of America.

And we now have one last piece of business to conclude the ceremony.  I’d like to ask one of our newest citizen, Julian de la Valle, from Colombia, to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Julian.

(The Pledge of Allegiance is recited.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Congratulations.  Congratulations to all of you.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

And now, enjoy the White House, all right?  (Laughter.)  Thank you very much, everybody.

END
11:47 A.M. EDT

Full Text Obama Presidency July 4, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at Independence Day Naturalization Ceremony — Salutes 25 Soldiers Becoming Citizens

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES

President Obama Salutes New American Citizens

Source: WH, 7-4-12

President Obama at Naturalization Ceremony July 4, 2012
President Barack Obama listens as Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano administers the oath of allegiance during a military naturalization ceremony for active duty service members in the East Room of the White House, July 4, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama began his Independence Day celebrations by hosting a naturalization ceremony for active duty service members in the East Room of the White House. It was the third time the President has hosted this kind of service, and he told the audience, which included the families of the service members who were taking the oath of citizenship, that it is one of his favorite things to do. “It brings me great joy and inspiration because it reminds us that we are a country that is bound together not simply by ethnicity or bloodlines, but by fidelity to a set of ideas.”

Before the President gave his remarks, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas presented the countries of the candidates for naturalization and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano delivered the oath of allegiance.  President Obama told the new citizens that is was an honor to serve as their Commander in Chief, and to be the first to greet them as “my fellow Americans.”

With this ceremony today — and ceremonies like it across our country — we affirm another truth: Our American journey, our success, would simply not be possible without the generations of immigrants who have come to our shores from every corner of the globe.  We say it so often, we sometimes forget what it means — we are a nation of immigrants.  Unless you are one of the first Americans, a Native American, we are all descended from folks who came from someplace else — whether they arrived on the Mayflower or on a slave ship, whether they came through Ellis Island or crossed the Rio Grande.

Immigrants signed their names to our Declaration and helped win our independence.  Immigrants helped lay the railroads and build our cities, calloused hand by calloused hand.  Immigrants took up arms to preserve our union, to defeat fascism, and to win a Cold War.  Immigrants and their descendants helped pioneer new industries and fuel our Information Age, from Google to the iPhone.  So the story of immigrants in America isn’t a story of “them,” it’s a story of “us.”  It’s who we are.  And now, all of you get to write the next chapter.

You can read the transcript of the President’s full remarks here.

Remarks by the President at Naturalization Ceremony

East Room

10:58 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Good morning, everybody.

AUDIENCE:  Good morning, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT:  Secretary Napolitano, Director Mayorkas, distinguished guests, family and friends — welcome to the White House.  Happy Fourth of July.  What a perfect way to celebrate America’s birthday — the world’s oldest democracy, with some of our newest citizens.

I have to tell you, just personally, this is one of my favorite things to do.  It brings me great joy and inspiration because it reminds us that we are a country that is bound together not simply by ethnicity or bloodlines, but by fidelity to a set of ideas.  And as members of our military, you raised your hand and took an oath of service.  It is an honor for me to serve as your Commander-in-Chief.  Today, you raised your hand and have taken an oath of citizenship.  And I could not be prouder to be among the first to greet you as “my fellow Americans.”

Looking back, it was an act of extraordinary audacity — a few dozen delegates, in that hall in Philadelphia, daring to defy the mightiest empire in the world, declaring “that these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States.”

Two hundred and thirty-six years later, we marvel at America’s story.  From a string of 13 colonies to 50 states from sea to shining sea.  From a fragile experiment in democracy to a beacon of freedom that still lights the world.  From a society of farmers and merchants to the largest, most dynamic economy in the world.  From a ragtag army of militias and regulars to you — the finest military that the world has ever known.  From a population of some 3 million — free and slave — to more than 300 million Americans of every color and every creed.

With this ceremony today — and ceremonies like it across our country — we affirm another truth:  Our American journey, our success, would simply not be possible without the generations of immigrants who have come to our shores from every corner of the globe.  We say it so often, we sometimes forget what it means — we are a nation of immigrants.  Unless you are one of the first Americans, a Native American, we are all descended from folks who came from someplace else — whether they arrived on the Mayflower or on a slave ship, whether they came through Ellis Island or crossed the Rio Grande.

Immigrants signed their names to our Declaration and helped win our independence.  Immigrants helped lay the railroads and build our cities, calloused hand by calloused hand.  Immigrants took up arms to preserve our union, to defeat fascism, and to win a Cold War.  Immigrants and their descendants helped pioneer new industries and fuel our Information Age, from Google to the iPhone.  So the story of immigrants in America isn’t a story of “them,” it’s a story of “us.”  It’s who we are.  And now, all of you get to write the next chapter.

Each of you have traveled your own path to this moment — from Cameroon and the Philippines, Russia and Palau and places in between.  Some of you came here as children, brought by parents who dreamed of giving you the opportunities that they had never had.  Others of you came as adults, finding your way through a new country and a new culture and a new language.

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.

We salute a husband and father, originally from Mexico, now a United States Marine, joined today by his wife Silvia and daughter Juliett.  Becoming a citizen, he says, is “another step in the right direction for my family.”  So today we congratulate Francisco Ballesteros De La Rosa.  Where’s Francisco?  (Applause.)

We salute a young woman from El Salvador, who came here when she was just six, grew up in America, who says she “always had a desire to serve” and who dreamed of becoming — who dreams of becoming an Army medic.  So we congratulate Luisa Childers.  Luisa.  (Applause.)

We salute a young man from Nigeria who came here as a child. “I left Nigeria,” he says, “with the dream that we all have a destiny in life and we are all born with the resources to make a difference.”  We are confident he will make a difference.  We congratulate Oluwatosin Akinduro.  (Applause.)

We salute a young man from Bolivia, who came to America, enlisted in our military and has volunteered to help care for our veterans.  He’s becoming a citizen, he says, to be a “part of the freedom that everybody is looking for.”  And so we congratulate Javier Beltran.  (Applause.)

It has taken these men and women — these Americans — years, even decades, to realize their dream.  And this, too, reminds us of a lesson of the Fourth.  On that July day, our Founders declared their independence.  But they only declared it; it would take another seven years to win the war.  Fifteen years to forge a Constitution and a Bill of Rights.  Nearly 90 years, and a great Civil War, to abolish slavery.  Nearly 150 years for women to win the right to vote.  Nearly 190 years to enshrine voting rights.  And even now, we’re still perfecting our union, still extending the promise of America.

That includes making sure the American dream endures for all those — like these men and women — who are willing to work hard, play by the rules and meet their responsibilities.  For just as we remain a nation of laws, we have to remain a nation of immigrants.  And 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.

Because 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.  You are all one of the reasons that America is exceptional.  You’re one of the reasons why, even after two centuries, America is always young, always looking to the future, always confident that our greatest days are still to come.

So, to all of you, I want to wish you the happiest Fourth of July.  God bless you all.  God bless our men and women in uniform and your families.  And God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)

And with that, I want you to join me in welcoming onto the stage one of America’s newest citizens.  Born in Guatemala, he enlisted in the Marine Corps, served with honor in Afghanistan.  And I know he’s especially proud because, in a few days, his father Walter — who’s also here today — will become a naturalized American citizen as well.  Where’s Walter?  There he is over there.  (Laughter.)  Good to see you, Walter.  (Applause.)  Please welcome, Lance Corporal Byron Acevedo to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Right here.

MR. ACEVEDO:  I’m nervous.  (Laughter.)

(The Pledge of Allegiance is said.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, everybody.  Have a great Fourth of July.  Congratulations to our newest citizens.  Yay!  (Applause.)

END
11:09 A.M. EDT

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