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Obama in Fourth of July ceremony calls for comprehensive immigration reform

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July 4, 2012: President Obama applauds in the East Room of the White House for a group of U.S. service members during a naturalization ceremony.AP

President Obama on Wednesday used a Fourth of July naturalization ceremony to again call for comprehensive immigration reform.

He also reminded those attending the White House ceremony of his recent decision to suspend deportation rules for illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children.  

“Just as we remain a nation of laws, we have to remain a nation of immigrants,” the president said during the East Room ceremony for 25 active-duty service members. "That’s why, as another step forward, we’re lifting the shadow of deportation from serving -- from deserving young people who were brought to this country as children."

Obama said the country still needs a DREAM Act "to keep talented young people who want to contribute to our society and serve our country."  

"It’s why we need comprehensive immigration reform," he said.

The DREAM Act is legislation that essentially would grant permanent -- but conditional -- residency to younger illegal immigrants who have lived in the country continuously for at least five years, have graduated from high school and have either served in the military or have a college degree.

The president was joined at the event by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas.