Thank you for that kind introduction, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Leon Rodriguez. And thank you, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, for your wonderful remarks and for your extraordinary service at the helm of our Civil Rights Division. I am so thrilled to welcome so many Justice Department colleagues and honored guests to the Great Hall. And I want to extend my warmest welcome to all of you, our newest American citizens. It is a true honor to be among the first to congratulate you on taking the oath of allegiance. You come to us from 40 nations around the world, from Sierra Leone to South Korea, from Pakistan to Portugal, from Mexico to Malaysia. You come to us with hopes and dreams as diverse as the paths you took to get here: hopes for economic and professional possibility, dreams of a better life for your children and expectations about the freedoms and privileges of citizenship. And in turn, we look to you with gratitude. We are so glad you are here. In joining us, you sustain one of the richest traditions of our nation, which is indeed a nation of immigrants. . . To say that immigrants have been a core part of our American narrative would be a great understatement. Immigrants played a critical role in the founding of our country; many of our roads and buildings and businesses were built by immigrants; and our society continues to be powered by the ingenuity, diligence and drive of immigrants. Immigrants have fought and died to preserve our freedoms and they have toiled and struggled to enrich our society. From the military to government; from academia to the arts – in every sector of every industry, we are stronger because of the diversity and talent of Americans with immigrant roots. And so we celebrate all of the richness you bring to our tapestry. We celebrate the foods you eat, the languages you dream in and the religions you practice. We celebrate the wealth of skills and perspective

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