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December 14, 2018

There's rarely been so much skepticism and uncertainty surrounding the U.S. immigration system. So after 31 people were sworn in as U.S. citizens, "a daughter and granddaughter of immigrants" decided to give them some reassurance.

On Friday, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made her first public speech after a fall last month to tell a group of new Americans what it meant to "join more than 20 million other citizens born in other lands." Ginsburg affirmed to the new citizens that "stains remain" on American livelihood, but used her own family history to show how they could improve the country, reports ABC News.

Friday marks the 227th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights, and Ginsburg's remarks at the citizenship ceremony took place in the National Archives, where the original document is stored. Ginsburg brought up how the newly naturalized citizens had to defend those rights, "first and foremost [by] voting in elections," per CNN.

Ginsburg told the group how her father "arrived in this land at age 13 with no fortune and speaking no English." Her mother was born four months after her parents immigrated to America, and ended up working as a bookkeeper in New York City, Ginsburg said. But in "one generation," Ginsburg says she was able to achieve "the American dream" and become "a Supreme Court Justice." Watch more of Ginsburg's remarks below. Kathryn Krawczyk

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