President Obama on Tuesday used a naturalization ceremony in Washington, D.C., to take a veiled shot at those calling for tighter rules for accepting Syrian refugees by saying Americans must resist the temptation to violate the country's founding documents.

In a National Archives ceremony welcoming 31 naturalized Americans, Obama didn't specifically name any Republican, including GOP front-runner Donald Trump, who has called for a temporary ban on Muslim immigrants.

But Obama said the U.S. should never repeat its past mistakes, when it discriminated against immigrants from various countries.

"We should be strong enough to acknowledge, as painful as it may be, that we haven't always lived up to our own ideals. We haven't always lived up to these documents," he said in the building that's home to the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

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