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Making One Out of Many: A Discussion on the Patriotic Assimilation of Immigrants

Recorded on March 16, 2006

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

Throughout American history, immigrants have come to the United States seeking a better way of life. In doing so, they have strengthened our nation. The heart of America's immigration story has always been naturalization, the process by which immigrants become citizens, and patriotic assimilation, which completes that process by transforming immigrants into committed and loyal Americans who accept the obligations as well as the rights and the responsibilities of citizenship. How does this happen? How can we strengthen naturalization and encourage patriotic assimilation? What role does a renewed assimilation policy play in immigration reform?

Previously, Dr. Gonzalez has served as Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council. Having completed a distinguished career in the U.S. Army that spanned twenty-six years, and serving as a military attaché to U.S. Embassies in El Salvador and Mexico, Dr. Gonzalez taught at the United States Military Academy at West Point and headed the Office of Special Assistants for the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Southern Command. A graduate of the University of South Florida with a B.A. in International Studies, Dr. Gonzalez also earned master's degrees in Latin American Studies from Tulane University and in Strategic Studies and National Security Affairs from the U.S. Naval War College. He earned his Ph.D. degree in International Relations from the Graduate School of International Studies, University of Miami.