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President Obama has faced criticism for his committment to multilateralism at the expense of American exceptionalism.
During his remarks at a naturalization ceremony at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. today, the President argued that part of what makes the United States exceptional is its diversity thanks to immigration.
“There is something unique about America,” said Obama. “We don’t simply welcome new immigrants. We don’t simply welcome new arrivals. We are born of immigrants. That is who we are.”
“Immigration is our origin story,” the President went on. “For more than two centuries, it’s remained at the core of our national character. It’s our oldest tradition... It’s part of what makes us exceptional.”
“After all, unless your family is Native American, one of the first Americans, all of our families come from some place else,” he added.
Watch his full speech below.