Presidents have long issued welcome messages that are played for immigrants at naturalization ceremonies. President Donald Trump’s message recently debuted after he has repeatedly taken a hard line on immigration as a candidate and president. Here is the transcript of his welcome speech and that of his predecessor:
My dear fellow American: It is with great pride that I welcome you into the American family. No matter where you come from, or what faith you practice, this country is now your country. Our history is now your history. And our traditions are now your traditions. You enjoy the full rights, and the sacred duties, that come with American citizenship — very, very special. There is no higher honour, there is no greater responsibility. You now share the obligation to teach our values to others, to help newcomers assimilate to our way of life, and uplift America by living according to its highest ideals of self-governance and its highest standards. All Americans are your brothers and sisters. And each of us must do our part to keep America safe, strong and free. America is our home, we have no other. You have pledged allegiance to America. And when you give your love and loyalty to America, she returns her love and loyalty to you. We share one American heart — and one American destiny. It is a destiny filled with love, opportunity and hope. We celebrate this day. We welcome you into our national family. We applaud your devotion to America. And we embrace the wonderful future we will have together. Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.
It’s an honour and a privilege to call you a fellow citizen of the United States of America. This is now officially your country. Your home to protect, to defend, and to serve through active and engaged citizenship. Together, we are a nation united not by any one culture, or ethnicity, or ideology but by the principles of opportunity, equality and liberty that are enshrined in our founding documents. Today marks a very special day in your life. You’ve travelled a long path to get here. You’ve sworn a solemn oath to this country and now have all the rights of citizenship. With the privilege of citizenship, though, come great responsibilities. And so I ask that you use your freedoms and your talents to contribute to the good of our nation and the world. Always remember that in America no dream is impossible. Like the millions of immigrants who have come before you, you have the opportunity to enrich this country through your contributions to civic society, business, culture and your community. You can help write the next great chapter in our American story. And together we can keep the beacon that is America burning bright for all the world to see. I am proud to welcome you as a new citizen of this country. May God bless you, and may God continue to bless the United States of America.