President Barack Obama will host a naturalization ceremony in Washington D.C. on March 25, in which he will deliver a call to action among members of Congress to resolve the ongoing immigration reform issues. The ceremony will include 28 soon-to-be U.S. citizens along with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejando Mayorkas.
“While the president remains pleased that Congress continues to make progress towards commonsense immigration reform, he believes Congress needs to act quickly and he expects a bill to be introduced as soon as possible,” a White House official told USA Today.
The immigration overhaul is picking up its pace, with bipartisan groups in both the House and Senate moving closer to unveiling separate immigration reform proposals. Furthermore, a group of eight House members is working towards unveiling an immigration reform bill in April, which is said to include a pathway to citizenship, heightened border security, increased high-skilled immigration and a guest worker program.
The ceremony will take place in the East Room of the White House, where immigrants representing 26 different countries will take the Oath of Citizenship.
“The event underscores the contributions made to the United States by immigrants from all walks of life including the foreign-born members of the U.S. armed forces, as well as our shared history as a nation of immigrants,” a White House official said, according to Politico.
At a ceremony in New York on March 21, Vice President Joe Biden said that an overhaul of immigration laws is a necessary step in the United States becoming a united and equal opportunity nation.
“There are 11 million [undocumented] Hispanics, who by the way, are just as proud, just as noble, care just as much about their families as we do,” Biden told USA Today. “Like our fore bearers, they possess overwhelming potential to build this great country. But today we are facing the most existential moment and we must ask ourselves: What do we stand for? What kind of nation are we? And perhaps most importantly, what kind of nation are we going to be become?”