Unusual White House ceremony intended to showcase Trump’s support for legal immigration.
An Indian software developer was welcomed to “the great American family of citizens” by President Donald Trump in an unusual White House ceremony to showcase his support for legal immigration.
Trump introduced Sundari Narayanan as “a talented software developer” who is a “phenomenal success” after she was sworn-in as a citizen on Tuesday, the second day of the Republican National Convention.
Noting that Narayanan had been in the US for 13 years and she and her husband have “two beautiful, wonderful children,” the President turned to her and asked, “They are the apple of your life, right?”
Clad in a bright pink sari with bright gold border, she nodded, “Yes.”
Narayanan was read the naturalization oath by Acting Homeland Security Security Chad Wolf along with four others, before Trump took the lectern to congratulate them individually.
The others were Bolivia, Lebanon and Ghana and a hijab-wearing veterinarian from Sudan.
“Today, America rejoices as we welcome five absolutely incredible new members into our great American family,” Trump said.
“You follow the rules, you obey the laws, you learned our history, embraced our values and proved yourselves to be men and women of the highest integrity,” he added.
“It’s not so easy. You’ve been through a lot,” to get the citizenship, the “priceless possession in the world,” Trump said.
Later in the convention session, Trump’s wife Melania, who immigrated from Slovenia said she too had studied for the citizenship test and became a citizen through “hard work and determination”.
The naturalization ceremony at the White House was intended to show the changing face of America, a multicultural amalgam with non-White immigrants of varied religions and regions making up the majority of immigrants.
It was also Trump’s answer to Democrats and immigration activists who have sought to paint him as anti-immigrant conflating legal and illegal immigrants.
Trump has taken a hardline stance on illegal immigration cracking down on the undocumented and vowing to build a big beautiful wall along the US-Mexico border.
While imposing a suspension of new green cards and H1-B professional work visas that largely go to Indians, till the yearned, he has also proposed a merit-based immigration system ending country caps on such visas.
As in 2016, Trump campaign has made illegal immigration a key issue of the 2020 election accusing Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden of advocating a policy of open borders.