Valdosta Daily Times

State News

November 15, 2013

Biden urges immigration reform at Atlanta ceremony

ATLANTA — Vice President Joe Biden stressed the need for comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship Thursday as he welcomed about 100 new U.S. citizens during a naturalization ceremony in Atlanta.

The event Thursday at The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change was one of about 120 ceremonies being held around the country in early November to naturalize about 8,000 people. Biden used the opportunity to push immigration reform and took a swipe at Republican House Speaker John Boehner.

“Thank you for picking us,” Biden said to the new citizens, saying the United States draws its strength and vitality from a constant infusion of new people, new ideas and new cultures.

He praised the 104 people from about 50 countries who sat in the rows before him for their strength and resilience.

“There’s something different that you all possess,” he said. “Making a decision to leave everything you’ve known is not for the fainthearted.”

He also urged them not to forget the estimated 11 million people living in the country illegally, saying they also deserve a chance to become citizens.

“Don’t pull up the ladder behind you now that you’ve climbed on board,” he said.  “There’s millions of people who are already acting as decent Americans that deserve a chance, deserve a path to earn their way.”

Biden and President Barack Obama are backing an immigration overhaul that passed the Senate with bipartisan support. The bill has stalled in the House, where most Republicans prefer a piecemeal approach.

“The only political thing I will say today: I’m extremely disappointed that the speaker of the House of Representatives announced yesterday he will not allow the process to work,” Biden said.

Boehner said Wednesday that the House will not hold formal, compromise talks on the Senate-passed comprehensive immigration bill. The bill faces strong opposition from the House Republican rank and file who reject a comprehensive approach and don’t like the idea of offering citizenship to people who broke immigration laws to get here.

Bernice King, head of The King Center and the youngest child of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., welcomed the new citizens and called for immigration reform, saying, “No human being is illegal or alien because we are all God’s children.”

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas, himself a naturalized citizen from Cuba, administered the oath of allegiance.

Following the ceremony, the new citizens smiled and posed for pictures, clutching small American flags and their naturalization certificates. Immanuel Fitoussi, 56, who moved to the U.S. from Israel 22 years ago, said he was honored to be sworn in at The King Center and was touched by the vice president’s words.

“We have contributed so much, and to see that he recognized that was amazing,” Fitoussi said of Biden.

 

1
Text Only
State News
  • Ga. online tuition dropping

    Jenni Small has good reason for avoiding 8 a.m. world literature classes at Dalton State College in northern Georgia. The 23-year-old works night shifts as an operator for carpet manufacturer Shaw while finishing her bachelor’s degree in mathematics.
    Instead of heading straight to class from work, she uses eCore — an online system that focuses on “core” classes that every Georgia state college or university student must take — for 1 or 2 courses each semester.

    April 21, 2014

  • Vidalia Onion Battle_Rich copy.jpg Vidalia onion farmer back in court over ship date

    One of Georgia’s most prominent Vidalia onion farmers is going back to court in an effort to stop the state agriculture commissioner from fining growers who ship the famous sweet onions before a certain date.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • GEORGIA PORTS_Rich copy.jpg Ga. ports on track to smash cargo records

    Georgia’s seaports are on track to finish the 2014 fiscal year with record cargo volumes as third-quarter numbers show big growth capped by the ports’ busiest month ever in terms of total tonnage being shipped to and from the docks.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gov. Deal signs prisoner re-entry bill into law

    Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a bill into law on Sunday that is aimed at reducing recidivism among ex-offenders and helping them successfully re-enter society.

    April 14, 2014

  • Deal reports $3.9M in cash for re-election bid

    Gov. Nathan Deal on Monday reported $3.9 million in cash for his re-election bid, after raising about $84,000 in 11 days since the legislative session ended.

    April 8, 2014

  • photoscape_eagle.jpg Ga. eagle population continues growth

    During a late-March aerial survey by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, more than 25 bald eagle nests were counted in northeastern Georgia. All but three represented viable adults and chicks.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Private company selling Georgia accident reports

    Selling car crash reports to a private company has saved time and money according to state officials, but some drivers cite concerns over retrieval costs and privacy.

    April 7, 2014

  • Forecasters issue flood watch in Ga.

    The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch covering much of the state.

    April 6, 2014

  • Georgia wants private companies to manage student housing

    Georgia is on course to become one of the nation’s largest experiments in privatized college dorms, but it’s unclear whether the changes will lower students’ bills at a time when university costs are soaring.

    April 6, 2014

  • Ga. misses food stamp backlog deadline

    State officials say Georgia missed the deadline to clear backlogged food stamp cases, putting millions of dollars of federal funding at risk.

    April 5, 2014

Top News
Poll

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
Other
     View Results