WASHINGTON (TheBlaze/AP) -- President Barack Obama said the 25 foreign-born service members who became U.S. citizens on the Fourth of July are vivid reminders that America is and always has been a nation of immigrants.
To keep attracting the "best and brightest" from beyond America's shores Obama also said, "We have to fix our immigration system, which is broken."
He said it's that rich diversity that makes the country the best in the world. Those who became citizens Friday, represent 15 countries and include members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, along with veterans, reservists and spouses.
President Barack Obama watches at left as Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas administers the oath of allegiance during a naturalization ceremony for active duty service members and civilians. Obama highlighted 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. (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)
The politically divisive immigration issue is earning renewed attention after the influx of thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America. Legislative efforts to overhaul the immigration system have stalled in Congress.
President Barack Obama poses for a photo with chef José Andrés following a naturalization ceremony for active duty service members and civilians, Friday, July 4, 2014, in the East Room of th White House. (AP/Susan Walsh)
Obama blames House Republicans for delaying action on an immigration overhaul and announced earlier this week that he will pursue non-legislative steps that he can take to adjust U.S. immigration policy without congressional approval.
In his Weekly Address, Obama said the U.S. has only succeeded because generations of Americans have fought to expand rights and opportunity to more people.
Watch Obama's address issued on the Fourth of July: