ATLANTA -- Vice President Joe Biden stressed the need for comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship as he welcomed about 100 new U.S. citizens during a naturalization ceremony in Atlanta.
The event Thursday at The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change was one of about 120 ceremonies being held around the country in early November to naturalize about 8,000 people.
Biden told the new citizens they make this country stronger. He also urged them not to forget the estimated 11 million people living in the country illegally, saying they also deserve a chance to become citizens.
"There are millions of people who are already acting as decent Americans," Biden said.
Biden and President Barack Obama are backing an immigration overhaul that passed the Senate with bipartisan support. The bill has stalled in the House, where most Republicans prefer a piecemeal approach. Biden said House Republicans' decision not to vote on the Senate's plan was holding back American progress.
"Sometimes we take a step forward, this is a step backward in the history of this country," Biden said. "But we'll overcome it. I'm asking you to help now."