By the President of the United States of America
Since 1820, more than 52 million immigrants have come to the United States from all over the world. They have sought and found a new and better life for themselves and their children in this land of liberty and opportunity. The magnet that draws them is freedom and the beacon that guides them is hope. America offers liberty for all, encourages hope for betterment, and nurtures great expectations. In this free land a person can realize his dreams—going as far as talent and drive can carry him. In return America asks each of us to do our best, to work hard, to respect the law, to cherish human rights, and to strive for the common good.
The immigrants who have so enriched America include people from every race, creed, and ethnic background. Yet all have been drawn here by shared values and a deep love of freedom. Most brought with them few material goods. But with their hearts and minds and toil they have contributed mightily to the building of this great Nation and endowed us with the riches of their achievements. Their spirit continues to nourish our own love of freedom and opportunity.
For more than three centuries, a human tide of men, women, and children have become new Americans. They have brought to us strength and moral fiber developed in civilizations centuries old, but fired anew by the dream of a better life in America. They have brought to us in this young country the treasure of a hundred ancient cultures. Their dreams gave them the courage to strike out for themselves, to leave behind familiar scenes, to part with friends and relatives, and to start a new life in a new land. The record of their success in every field of human endeavor is one of our proudest boasts. They have helped to make us the great Nation we are today.
The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 290, has designated July 4, 1986, as "National Immigrants Day" and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this event.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim July 4, 1986, as National Immigrants Day, and I call upon the people of the United States to observe that day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 2nd day of July, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and tenth.