Fifty-one women will compete for the title of Miss USA Sunday night during a two-hour beauty pageant in Las Vegas.
This year five women competing in the pageant were born in other countries and are now U.S. citizens.
Miss Florida Linnette De Los Santos, Miss North Dakota Raquel Wellentin, Miss Hawaii Julie Kuo, Miss Connecticut Olga Litvinenko and Miss New Jersey Chhavi Verg said they have all faced different challenges as immigrants.
Miss New Jersey USA Chhavi Verg, right, competes during a preliminary competition for Miss USA in Las Vegas. Verg emigrated from India with her parents. (AP Photo/John Locher)
“As Miss USA, I would love to be able to be that inspiration for our immigrant community," said Linnette De Los Santos, who immigrated from the Dominican Republic when she was 5. "If I would have stopped following my dreams and working hard towards what I wanted, I wouldn’t be sitting here as Miss Florida USA or in law school ready to become an immigration attorney."
These remarks stand in stark contrast to 2015's pageant, which was overshadowed by then-part owner Donald Trump's offensive anti-immigrant remarks.
NBCUniversal and the Spanish language broadcaster Univision refused to air the show, which led to Trump to sue both networks. Trump eventually settled and decided to sell The Miss Universe Organization.
Last year, Deshauna Barber became the first-ever military member to win the title.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.