President Barack Obama plans to highlight a positive side of the immigration debate by presiding over an Independence Day citizenship ceremony for service members who signed up to defend the U.S. even though they weren’t American citizens.
A total of 25 members of the Armed Forces will spend the Fourth of July as American citizens after the deputy secretary for homeland security delivers the oath of allegiance at a White House ceremony on Friday.
The group includes 15 active-duty service members from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, along with two veterans, one reservist and seven spouses, the White House said. They represent 15 countries.
The politically divisive immigration issue is earning renewed attention after the influx of tens of thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America who, under U.S. law, must be sent back across the border to their home countries. That has upset advocates of overhauling U.S. immigration policy who want Obama to allow the children to stay.