Washington– President Joe Biden thanked naturalized Americans for “electing us” in an official video message to the nation’s newest citizens.
In his comments, Biden cited the “value” of immigrants coming to the United States and his legacy as a descendant of Irish immigrants. The President also praised the contributions they will make to the American community.
Biden said in the video: “First of all, I would like to thank you for choosing us and for believing that America deserves your aspirations,” describing America “this great nation of immigrants.”
“You have one thing in common: courage,” Biden added in the video released on Monday. “The courage it takes to sacrifice and make this journey. The courage to leave their homes, their lives, their loved ones and come to this nation that is more than just a place and an idea. The idea that we are all created equal and deserve to be treated fairly.”
Presidents usually record a message to be heard at the end of naturalization ceremonies, moments after the new citizens take an oath of allegiance. However, these measures have been shortened over the years due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and the video was among the items that had been cut for a while. The White House and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released the video publicly so that new citizens and the general public can view it from their homes.
It represents a change of tone compared to former President Donald Trump, who released a video during his first year in office, in which he repeated his campaign speech about teaching America’s values and heritage.
Biden said in his video that the new citizens had “a new title like that of an American president.”
He stressed that “the title that makes me proud is the title of a citizen of the United States of America.”