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President Obama stands with new U.S. citizens during a naturalization ceremony at the National War Memorial in Seoul. / JIM WATSON, AFP/Getty Images

President Obama used a stop in South Korea to promote an immigration bill pending in the United States.

The occasion: A U.S. naturalization ceremony Friday for 20 military services members and their spouses.

"There's no greater strength, no greater essence of America than the fact that we attract people from all around the world who want to be part of our democracy," Obama told the new Americans during the event at the National War Memorial in Seoul.

With a Senate-passed immigration bill pending in the Republican-run House, Obama added that "we've got to fix our broken immigration system and pass common-sense immigration reform" as soon as possible.

"This is a huge advantage to us -- the talent that we attract," Obama said. "We don't want to make it harder; we want to make it more sensible, more efficient. That's why I'm going to keep on pushing to get this done this year."

Some House Republicans object to a provision that would provide a path to citizenship for people who are already in the country illegally, calling it amnesty for lawbreakers.

Passing an immigration bill becomes more and more difficult as congressional elections on Nov. 4.

During his visit to the memorial in Seoul, Obama also laid a wreath in honor of the victims of the Korean War.



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Obama pushes immigration bill during S. Korea stop

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