Michelle Obama: Immigrants Just Like Founding Fathers, Not 'Born American'
First Lady Michelle Obama reminded attendees of a naturalization ceremony Wednesday that the Founding Fathers weren’t born in America.
The ceremony for 50 new U.S. citizens was held at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
“It’s amazing that just a few feet from here where I’m standing are the signatures of the 56 Founders who put their names on a Declaration that changed the course of history,” she said during her speech, referring to the Declaration of Independence. “And like the 50 of you, none of them were born American – they became American.”
Obama pointed out that the Founding Fathers pledged their lives and risked everything to create the United States of America after signing the Declaration of Independence.
“Just like you’re about to pledge allegiance to our flag, they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to this extraordinary idea that we now know as America – the notion that we are all created equal, endowed with fundamental rights and freedoms that no one can ever take away from us,” she said.
The First Lady explained that the Founding Fathers were “Americans-by-choice” just like the newly declared citizens.
“As the newest 'Americans-by-choice,' you, too, will play an important part in shaping our history,” she continued.
Immigrants, she explained, were essential to the continued growth of the United States.
“I know this is an exciting, hopeful time for all of you, but it’s also an exciting, hopeful time for our country,” she said. “Because the fact is, America needs you.”
Obama also reminded the new citizens of their importance to the historic character that immigrants brought to the country.
“Immigration is at the heart of how we developed as a nation,” she said. “In every generation, immigrants have earned their place as part of 'We the People.'”