Monday, July 04, 2022
On July 4, 2022, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen delivered congratulatory remarks during a naturalization ceremony on the Bowling Green at Mount Vernon. The ceremony, which featured 52 new citizens from 42 countries, including members of the U.S. military, was watched by a large Independence Day crowd.
“Whether you were born in Ukraine or El Salvador, Iran or Iraq, South Africa or South Korea, you have now completed a process that may be difficult but is fundamentally American,” Yellen said. “As each of you know better than most, the American story is the immigrant story.
“Immigration is not only consistent with our values. In America, it is who we are. Forty-five million immigrants live in the United States today, which means that more than one in eight of us were born elsewhere.
“Your decision to come to America and pursue a life here has made our country better. It’s not just that you make our culture richer or our neighborhoods more vibrant. You make our economy stronger as well. Immigration is essential to building a strong labor force, generating new innovations, and growing our economy.”
As Yellen noted, the ceremony was also an occasion for personal reflection: “My father’s family immigrated to America from Eastern Poland, and my mother’s family from Germany. If they had not made the brave decision to come to a new country, I would not be standing here today.”