President Obama gave a speech at the National Archives in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, where he responded to recent anti-immigrant, anti-refugee, and anti-Muslim sentiment in the country.
“How quickly we forget. One generation passes, two generations pass, and suddenly we don’t remember where we came from,” he said.
Obama spoke in front of more than 30 people being sworn in as American citizens at a naturalization ceremony.
“Standing up for each other is what the values enshrined in the documents in this room compels us to do,” he said. “Especially when it’s hard. Especially when it’s not convenient. That’s when it counts. That’s why it matters. It’s not when things are easy. It’s when things are hard.”
He continued, “In the Mexican immigrant today, we see the Catholic immigrant of a a century ago. In the Syrian seeking refuge today, we should see the Jewish refugee of World War II. In these new Americans, we see our own American stories, our parents, our grandparents, our aunts, our uncles, our cousins, who packed up what they could and scraped together what they had. And their paperwork wasn’t always in order.”
Story by Allan Smith and editing by Jeremy Dreyfuss
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