Michael R. Pence, Vice President of the United States, participates in a Naturalization Ceremony ahead of the 4th of July holiday, July 2, 2020.
A senior official performing the duties of Deputy Secretary, Department of Homeland Security does it? Deputy director for policy, US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Ladies and gentlemen, please stand for the Vice President of the United States. Good afternoon. Good morning and welcome. I’m Ken Cuccinelli, a senior official performing the duties of the deputy secretary in the Department of Homeland Security. And I You ball Thank you. I invite you all to go ahead and take a seat. It is always an honor to welcome new citizens to United States. It’s even more special doing so the week we celebrate our 244th anniversary of the Independence Day of our great country. Add that the historic venue here at the White House and special guests we have for this ceremony and it will be an occasion our new citizens will always remember for the rest of their lives. It’s now my great pleasure to introduce acting Secretary of Homeland Security. Chadwell. Well, good morning and thank you, Mr Vice President, for hosting us here today. It’s certainly a pleasure to be here with Secretary Chao who herself is a proud naturalized citizen. Joe Ed Low Joe Adler, who was running US Citizenship and Immigration Services today in Good Morning and congratulations on becoming the newest citizens of our great country. What, while the oath that you will swear today you all have completed one of the most important journeys of your lives and that’s becoming an American citizen. The fabric of America is woven from a variety of backgrounds, races, religions and creeds, each thread made up of unique individuals such as yourselves coming together to form an even greater nation among the 16 new citizens here today, or individuals from 12 countries across the globe, from our Canadian neighbors to the north, Chile to the south Philippines to the west, in Turkey to the east. The binding factor that we all shares Americans, however, is our common belief in the ideals enshrined in our Constitution. These ideals, ideals including freedom, liberty and the rule of law allow us to come together as one people, these ideals of the foundation of what makes our country great. The citizens that uphold these values in the commitment to them are our way of life or what make America so special. Since our country’s inception, naturalized citizens have lived worked, prayed and even fault and died side by side with their fellow Americans. Many have made incredible contributions, charge society through hard work, an appreciation for our ideals and self sacrifice. Names like Alexander Hamilton, Andrew Carnegie, Albert Einstein, Nicola Tesla and Elon Musk have graced the pages of US history, each of them immigrants to our great country who have seized the opportunity to maximize their potential. For centuries, our republic has fostered an environment in which an individual is given the opportunity to make their own choices free from the unfair and deadly policies placed upon them by dictators and authoritarians. Today, you need only need to look at Secretary Chao, where the millions of other naturalized citizens who are working to better our country each and every day as examples of the freedom our country provides. As the acting secretary of homeland security, I had the privilege and the honor of ever seeing our country’s immigration and naturalization system. It has been one of my greatest honors, but my career to welcome hundreds of thousands of new citizens to the American family each year. You all exemplify the success that comes with a strong, fair immigration system that maintains its integrity. While each of you has reached an incredible milestone here today, there’s just one chapter in your American story is up to you how the rest of the pages will be written. So again, congratulations on this tremendous accomplishment. And now I’d like to introduce staff Sergeant Edmund Millie who will lead us in singing our national anthem. Please rise. Oh, say, can you see By the dawn’s early light What so proudly we Hilda twi light last cleaning Whose broad stripes on bright stars through the para los fight or the wrong parts We watched worse So Garland Lee streaming under the rock hurts Regula vah bombs pursing in a gave proof through the night that off leg waas still the oh say, Does that Star spangled Banner yet wave or the free on the home of the brave Please be seated. Thank you, Staff Sergeant Millie, for that beautiful rendition of The Star Spangled Banner. Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Joseph Ed Low. I am currently the deputy director for policy at U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. And it’s an honor to be here with you all today on behalf of U. S C. I s the song we just heard. Our national anthem was penned by Francis Scott Key, who was inspired to write it after seeing the American flags still waving after the British attack on Fort McHenry in Baltimore, my hometown during the War of 18 12 Our flag tells our story. It is a story of a nation whose founders knew the value of hard work and president perseverance of idealism and opportunity. Many of you have similar stories of hard work and dedication that you that have led you here today, and I congratulate you on those efforts. Now I have the privilege of calling the countries of the naturalization candidates candidates. When you hear your country of nationality cold, please stand and remain standing. Canada Chili Co. Devoir, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines and Turkey. Mr. Cuccinelli, I present to you 16 candidates representing 12 countries who have applied to become citizens of the United States. Each of the candidates has been interviewed by an officer of U. S. C. I s. And unless exempted by the law, has demonstrated the ability to read, write and speak words in the English language. Each has demonstrated his or her knowledge and understanding of the history and the principles and form of the government of the United States. Mr. Cuccinelli, I recommend that these candidates be administered the oath of allegiance, thereby admitting them to United States citizenship. So candidates for naturalization, if you would raise your right hand and repeat after me, I hereby declare on oath that I absolutely, and entirely renounce and abjure u’re all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince potent Tate state or sovereignty of whom or which I have here to four Ben Yeah, a subject or citizen that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law that I will perform noncombatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the law that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. So help me God. Congratulations. You all are now citizens of the United States of America. And if you would please remain standing a Z Your first act as new United States citizens, I would ask you to join me in the Pledge of Allegiance. We’ll all say it together. You will not repeat after me. We will say it at the same time. I will just get us started. So if everyone please stand, face the flag and cover your heart. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. Please take your seats on behalf of U. S. C. I s and the entire United States of America. It is my great honor to be the first person to refer to you as my fellow Americans. In taking the oath of allegiance to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. You’ve gained important new rights and responsibilities along with ownership of America’s future. I hope this day inspires you to fully exercise those rights and to meet your responsibilities as that accompany your new status as citizens of the United States. Our next speaker is US Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao. This is her second Cabinet position. Previously, she served as U. S secretary of Labor, the first Asian American woman in American history to be appointed to the president’s Cabinet and certainly the first to be appointed twice. She herself is an immigrant to this country. As you heard earlier from Secretary Wolf. Secretary Chao has a distinguished career in private, public and non profit sectors. She is a graduate of Harvard Business School and the recipient of 37 honorary degrees doctor degrees. She is the eldest of six daughters and exemplifies the opportunities that air so abundant in America. And it is her history and accomplishment that make her truly one of the most unique speakers at naturalizations that we have ever had. And it is my honor to introduce Secretary Chao Thank you so much. Welcome to the White House. Isn’t this special? I came to America when I was eight years old, and I got my citizenship at age 19. My family’s journey is one that I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about. For many other people because you share the same experiences. My late mother Ruth, Mulan, Chu Chel and my father, Dr James Sch. L met during the Chinese civil War. At the height of the Civil War, they separately left their homeland. And after a two year search, my father finally found my mother, convinced her parents to allow them to marry and started a family. My father became the youngest sea captain at the age of 29. He took a national examination, scored number one, broke all the records and this gave him the chance to come to America, but only him. So my mother, my two sisters and I were left behind. Our family was separated for three years before he was able to get us. We came aboard a cargo ship because that was all he could afford. At the time when our ship sailed into New York Harbor, we were filled with happiness. But we were also very anxious, wondering whether we would ever survive in this new country. Our initial years in America were very challenging. I don’t need to tell you that, but my parents never lost faith in the promise of America and that America was a land of opportunity and that our futures would be bright. Each of you come with your own stories of coming to America. I am here to affirm to you that your hard work and sacrifices are well worth it. This is a wonderful country with so many opportunities. Congratulations on becoming an American citizen and being able to carry that precious blue passport whenever you leave our borders. Now, it’s my great honor and pleasure to introduce the one that you really came toe. Listen to our great featured Speaker, Vice President Mike Pence. Not yet. The vice president is a man of great faith, compassion and experience who, along with our second lady, Karen Pens, has devoted his life to serving others. He wanted to be here today. Toe welcome you to congratulate you and celebrate this great day with you. So please join me in giving a rousing welcome to the vice President of the United States, Mike Pence. Yeah. Thank you. Well, thank you all for that warm welcome in. It is a great honor for me to be here on such a special day to welcome 16 new Americans to the American family. Give yourselves a round, and it’s an honor to be here with some extraordinary public servants as well. You just heard about her personal story. But she is the on an extraordinary work for this nation serving multiple administrations. And I hope she proves to each and every one of you that this is the land of opportunity. Would you join me in thanking the 18th Secretary of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao? Thank you. And also, I want to thank Acting Secretary Chad Wolf and Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli and the Deputy Director Joe and Low. I hope you could see from where you were seated the emotion on their faces as they had the privilege of playing a role in welcoming you to the United States of America. These are men of integrity who love this country. And, uh, and they love to welcome new Americans. Give them all a round of applause with a very special Let me also extend congratulations from another friend of mine. I just left him a few minutes ago, we were celebrating some great news in America, but I know he’d want me to extend his congratulations to each and every one of you. So, to all the new Americans in the room, I extend congratulations and welcome from the 45th president of the United States of America, President Donald Trump, And on behalf of the President and the first lady, welcome to the White House. It’s an honor to have each one of you here for such an important milestone in your life and in the life of this nation. There’s no naturalization ceremony that ever occurs in this country. That isn’t of enormous importance to the life of this nation. Because apart from our Native American brothers and sisters, the reality is that all of us came here from somewhere else. Truth is my own story. Just two short generations ago involved immigration. Some were brought here against their will. Some came to this continent to seek freedom on liberty. And now, from all different points on the globe. All of you have joined that journey and we know that you are going to do your families and your nation proud as American citizens. So I welcome you once again. And I’m told that this class comes from 12 countries across five continents. It was inspiring to see the range of backgrounds big standard during introductions. But you also come from just about every walk of life a security officer, a cashier, a pilot to journalists, a contractor, a graphic designer, just to name a few. And now you’ve brought those talents and to the United States of America. And let me just say, on behalf of all the people of this country, thank you. Thank you for bringing your lives, your experience to enrich the greatest nation on Earth. We’re grateful each and every one of you for embracing American, becoming American citizens from those diverse backgrounds. Though you had one common aspiration, he left hearth and home friends and families. You left the familiar for the unfamiliar. You’re part of the long American story that we will celebrate in just a few short days. And, uh, you come at a time you come in a time of unique challenges in America and across the wider world as we deal with an unprecedented pandemic. But I think the world has seen and you will continue to be a part of a story that demonstrates the resilience and the strength of the American people. Because, as the jobs numbers testified, today, nearly five million jobs created in the last month. We’re opening up America again, and you’re in the midst of a great American comeback, and you’ll be a part of that. Our history now is your story by bringing your talents and your energies in your enthusiasm and your devotion so eloquently articulated not just in the oath that you took, but in the pledge that we all recited. We know you’re gonna play your own individual part in making a stronger and more prosperous America, and it’s actually it’s it’s good to be with you as we’re just a few days away from celebrating our Independence Day 244 years ago, um, a group of Americans gathered in Philadelphia and signed a document pledging their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor behind a set of ideals, a commitment that all are created equal, even though at that time in the life of our nation, some were not considered that way. We committed to a more perfect union. And each and every year since our nation, our nation has has strived for more perfect union, and I know with the diversity of backgrounds that each of you bring you will enrich America and be a part of our steady march toward that more perfect union. And I thank you. I truly do. But you may not know the 244 years ago. Today was also a momentous day. July the 2nd 17 76 was actually the day that a man who would become our first vice president, I said that we’d be celebrating our independence. You may not have actually known this, but it was on July the 2nd 17 76 that Congress actually declared independence by adopting a resolution. And, uh, John Adams, our first vice president I’m partial to vice presidents, actually wrote in a letter to his wife, Abigail, quote The second day of July 17 76 will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America, he said. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations with great anniversary festivals with pomp and parade shows and games, sports guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations. Well, actually, we celebrate that two days from now, but now you’re a part of the great and storied history of July. The second so welcome. 244 years after that courageous decision, the liberty that was one. Now you’re apart of America’s steady march and, um, and I just want toe. I want to commend you. I want to commend you for having the courage of reach for your dreams and to make the sacrifice is necessary. Become part of the greatest nation in the history of the world. And your stories are truly inspiring, like a man who came to this country 16 years ago from the Philippines, families already making contributions, this country. One of his sons, I’m told, serves as an Army medic. It Fort Carson in Colorado, another of his sons, a cargo specialist in the Army Reserve. What a great family! Today, Orlando Medrano is an American and a proud father, to say the least. Stand up and give those boys my best. And I was also inspired by the testimony of a woman who’s here today, who said, and I quote that as an American, I can travel and go to school. I can vote, I can achieve my goals in my dreams. In a word, becoming an American citizen for me is freedom, and those inspiring words tell me that she has chosen well in America, has done well by welcoming for two. Mata Ouattara is a new American citizen. Where are you? Thank you. Beautiful words. And at this moment in the life of our nation, it’s also deeply meaningful to hear the story of a man from Nigeria who works as a security officer. I had a dream of becoming a police officer in the United States. A dream that we hope he pursues a great and noble profession. Those who serve and protect our communities are the best among us. So allow me to think and to congratulate Poland. Rais wa Jew Aachen Remy. Congratulations. I’m just glad I got through those great names. Those beautiful names and thank you. Thank you for your patience. Um, but frankly, all your stories are inspiring all your stories Air now part of the American story. And, uh and I must tell you, the reason why I’ve made this a bit of a tradition since becoming your vice president is because it’s a it’s part of my story, too. The reality is that just like you had the courage to step forward, to come to America and to go through the process of becoming American citizens. My grandfather did the same. In fact, I’ll never forget the day that I was inaugurated as the 40 eighth vice president of the United States. I was sitting up on the platform and, uh, people have asked me sense what I thought about at that time, my wife at my side. Our three Children, Ana, I honestly couldn’t stop thinking about my grandfather. You see, he came to this country, stepped off on the Ellis Island on April 11 1923. He took the train to New York City. He moved to Chicago, Illinois. He drove a bus for 40 years. He raised, uh, a precocious redhead who would become my mother, married a salesman and moved to a small town in southern Indiana. They build everything that matters, a family business and a good name. And, uh, that day of Inauguration Day, I couldn’t help. I couldn’t help but think of my grandfather and what he must have been thinking, looking down from glory. You see, I was actually named after him. I’m Michael Richard Pence. And he was Richard Michael Cawley. I’ve actually been in Ireland to the to see the house he grew up in with 10 brothers and sisters. The house itself wasn’t more than two rooms with a thatched roof in Ireland, and the legend in our family is that my great grandmother managed to get him a one way ticket to America, she told him. You have to go because there’s a future there for you. And I was part of that future. My three brothers and two sisters, the same and now his great grandchildren. Great grandchildren are also living the American dream. But it all happened because he made the decision to go to leave hearth and home behind. He wouldn’t see his mother for 20 five years, but he did it. And I believe he did it with, uh, with him, with faith in this country, faith in the boundless opportunities in America, and also with an aspiration and hope for the Children and the grandchildren that would follow. And I’ll be forever in his debt. But I’m also a dead or to America on the debtor to America that made good the promise that put my grandfather on that boat and brought him across, and I want to say to each and every one of you. Wherever you have come from, you are now Americans in America will make good on our promise to each and every one of you boundless opportunity for all. So go out and grab that dream close. Let me say, on this day, when you become citizens of the freest and most prosperous nation in the history of the world, the Bible verse that I’ve long cherished it reads to whom much is given, much will be required. And as you embrace the responsibilities of citizenship in the privileges, I I hope you also find a way to get back for all that you’ve been given on this day. Raise a great family, build a business, serve in law enforcement, even put on the uniform of the United States, be a teacher, volunteer at a local service club or run for office. Find a way to serve, find a way toe, give back, live out the both that you just recited to this country in your everyday lives. And I promise you everything that you give to America you will receive beyond anything you could ask her. Imagine back. You’ve inherited a legacy of Liberty. The generations of Americans have paid for with their lives. So use it well and do your part. And finally, like that Irishman I was talking about. Unlike each and every one of you. Keep dreaming big. There are no dreams too big in the land of the free and the home of the brave. You work hard, you play by the rules. Sky’s the limit. So congratulations. 2 16 New Americans. May God bless you and may God bless your new home, the United States of America. Okay, you can all sit. It’ll be brief for some of you. And I appreciate the vice president’s inspiring remarks and Secretary Chow’s as well. This time we have the privilege of presenting you with your naturalization certificates. And I would ask my colleagues from the Department of Homeland Security, Acting Secretary Wolf, deputy director head low to step forward and new citizens, as you hear your name called Please process across the stage here from the side across, and Mister Ed Low will hand you your certificate. Once you’ve received it, you’ll be escorted to the Navy steps where we will take a group photo outside and then you’ll return to the auditorium to rejoin your family. Members had asked the family members to wait here, please, as we take that picture and who will lead them out where you are? Oh, so we’re going to come across. We’ll come back. Okay. All right. So? So, if the families would stay here, wait for us to return and the candidates and yes, we’ll go with you as well, okay?