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And I also want to acknowledge staff from the office of Senator Landrieu. Mary Landrieu has led efforts in Congress on behalf of adoption, and we work with her very closely. I also want to acknowledge staff from Senator John Kerry’s office and other partners in Congress who have been working with us to promote ethical and transparent intercountry adoptions. And Assistant Secretary Janice Jacobs, whom you just saw, along with the first-ever Special Representative, dealing with children in international adoption, Susan Jacobs, have been absolutely essential partners.
And I want to thank USCIS for – I want to thank you for partnering with this effort. We want to make sure that governments around the world play by the same set of rules when it comes to intercountry adoption, putting the health and welfare of children first. And as we mark National Adoption Month, that’s what our embassies will be emphasizing. Because we think of intercountry adoption is an important matter of foreign policy. It provides the opportunity for loving parents to offer a permanent home and a family for children who need that. And it deepens and enriches our culture and builds on one of America’s greatest strengths, our diversity.
So this is a special time to welcome new members to the American family, and we’re going to give you that opportunity in just a minute. And I am excited to see some of you I know, and we are delighted to see you with your children here. But for us, this is a special day and we hope that this ceremony is some symbol of the excitement that this entire Department feels to be able to welcome all of you here as citizens.
So let me now invite Sarah Taylor to the podium to call families to the stage to receive their certificates. (Applause.)