“Nearly four centuries after the Mayflower set sail, the world is still full of pilgrims – men and women who want nothing more than the chance for a safer, better future for themselves and their families,” Obama said in his weekly address Thursday. “What makes America America is that we offer that chance.”
 
The president praised Americans who have offered to open their homes to refugees fleeing war-torn Syria.
 
“One woman from Pennsylvania wrote to me to say, ‘Money is tight for us in my household. … But I have a guest room. I have a pantry full of food. We can do this,’ ” Obama said.
 
“Another woman from Florida told me her family’s history dates back to the Mayflower — and she said that welcoming other is part of ‘what it means to be an American,’ ” he added.