Obama Celebrates Fourth of July with New U. S. Citizens
For the fourth straight Fourth of July, President Barack Obama joined military families with a barbeque and watched fireworks from the White House lawn. He started the day by holding a citizenship ceremony where 25 people became new Americans. He also celebrated the 14th birthday of his older daughter Malia.
It was a busy Fourth of July holiday for the president of the United States. The naturalization event was held in the ornate East Room, which was full with the service members’ families and friends. It was the third time the president held such ceremony in the White House but the first one during Independence Day.
President Obama said that celebrating America’s birthday with its newest citizens is one of his favorite things to do. He added that it is an honor for him to serve as their commander in chief. All the new citizens have been in the country legally. Illegal immigrants can’t join the military. The new citizens benefited from a legal fast track that makes the naturalization process for service members shorter in wartime.
The president used the occasion to recall his recent order that suspended the deportation of people brought to the United States illegally as children. He also used the occasion to urge Congress to act on the DREAM Act that would grant legal status to people who serve in the military or enter college in the United States.
Most Republicans oppose both actions made by the president but the immigration issue has been an awkward one for Mitt Romney. He has to convince the Latino voters in swing states, such as Colorado and Nevada, to vote for him. He has to soften his stance on immigration in the hopes of getting the Latino votes.
The 25 service men were in uniform. They stood and raised their right hands as they recited the oath of allegiance with Janet Napolitano, secretary of homeland security. They came from 17 countries.