By Jueseppi B.
Creating an Immigration System for the 21st Century
Our nation’s immigration system is broken. Fixing it is an economic and national security imperative. That’s why President Obama is working to pass a common sense, comprehensive set of reforms that ensures everyone plays by the same rules.
America’s immigration system is broken. Too many employers game the system by hiring undocumented workers and there are 11 million people living in the shadows. Neither is good for the economy or the country.
Together we can build a fair, effective and common sense immigration system that lives up to our heritage as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.
The President’s plan builds a smart, effective immigration system that continues efforts to secure our borders and cracks down on employers who hire undocumented immigrants. It’s a plan that requires anyone who’s undocumented to get right with the law by paying their taxes and a penalty, learning English, and undergoing background checks before they can be eligible to earn citizenship. It requires every business and every worker to play by the same set of rules.
Readout of the President and Vice President’s meeting with Dreamers and Family Members of Undocumented Immigrants
Julie Chavez Rodriguez is the Associate Director of Latino Affairs and Immigration for the Office of Public Engagement at the White House.
As the Senate debates bipartisan immigration reform legislation, the President and the Vice President hosted a meeting today in the Oval Office with young immigrants, also known as DREAMers, as well as with the siblings and spouses of undocumented immigrants. The meeting was an important opportunity for the President and the Vice President to hear directly from people whose families are affected daily by our nation’s broken immigration system.
The President and the Vice President were moved by the stories of courage and determination these young immigrants shared. The DREAMers shared how the deferred action changed their lives for the better and emphasized that they and their families need a permanent solution that will allow them to fully contribute to the country they call home. Their stories were both powerful and authentic, inspiring us all to remember the important task and responsibility we carry as public servants and members of the Obama administration.
From Justino Mora, Angie Kim and Mehdi Mahraoui, to Diana Colin and Kevin Lee, all of the stories they shared were full of hope and optimism that one day their family members and their broader communities could realize the dream of becoming citizens of a country that has provided them with the opportunity to work hard and to succeed.
Miguel Leal and Melissa McGuire-Maniau also shared their commitment to this country as veterans of the US Armed Forces and all expressed their desire to continue to contribute as volunteers, mentors, and leaders in their own communities.
As the meeting was wrapping up, the President reiterated his commitment to passing a bipartisan, commonsense immigration reform bill this year. And while he reminded everyone in the room that the bill is not perfect, he noted that it does represent an important step towards the broad principles that need to be part of any immigration reform package. He also encouraged them to continue to share their stories with the American public to move the hearts and minds of individual leaders and to propel the immigration debate forward.
The White House Joins the March for Innovation
Julie Chavez Rodriguez
06:53 PM EDT
The White House has joined a coalition of organizations in the March for Innovation (#iMarch), the largest-ever virtual march in support of bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform.
The march — which is set to take place tomorrow and Thursday — will bring together leaders from politics, business, tech, sports, and entertainment to create a digital storm across a variety of social media to back bipartisan immigration legislation that will help attract and retain the world’s best and brightest to fuel innovation and create American jobs.
Join us today: Visit http://act.marchforinnovation.com/act to learn more and sign up.
Blue Star Families: Providing a Shining Example of Support for Military Families
Rosye B. Cloud is the Policy Director for Veterans, Wounded Warriors, and Military Families
Rosye B. Cloud
03:30 PM EDT
Our nation has the best military force in the world due to theunwavering commitment and dedication of our service men and women. But standing right behind these selfless men and women is a strong support system made up of spouses, children, parents, and family members who also willingly sacrifice. Blue Star Families, founded in 2009 by a group of military spouses, is an established, chapter-based organization. To date, there are over 70 chapters on military bases and National Guard sites across the country, offering valuable wellness, morale, education, and employment programming for military families.
Blue Star Families has been successful in creating valuable programs for military families because they maintain awareness on the challenges families face. Each year, Blue Star Families conducts a Military Family Lifestyle Survey to take a proactive look at the current needs and priorities of military families and service members. This survey is a unique tool that not only assists their organization but also provides key decision makers with concrete data on the challenges military families face.
For example, Blue Star Families Military Family Lifestyle Surveys have consistently revealed that military spouse employment is a key component of military family stability. In this year’s survey, of the 61% of military spouses that are unemployed, 52% want to be employed. So Blue Star Families seeks to empower military spouses in the difficult task of finding employment by providing a broad range of initiatives designed to support military families throughout various points on their career paths. This could be anything from building a resume to finding a job, and keeping that job despite unique challenges. To assist in military spouses navigate the job market, Blue Star Families launched three ground-breaking peer-to-peer networks: Blue Star Entrepreneurs,Blue Star Health Care Professionals, and Blue Star Educators. These groups encourage military family members to work together and share their experiences to help each overcome many of the challenges often faced.
Blue Star Families chapter directors also organize events to support military families across the country through programs such as Books on Bases and Operation Appreciation. In the first ever Books on Base event in September 2009, over 4,000 books were distributed to military base libraries and every DOD school in North Carolina, plus 20 military impacted schools in the local area. Since 2009, Blue Star Families in partnership with many generous corporations has distributed over 120,000 books and impacted over 140,000 military children worldwide.
Additionally, Blue Star Families and its chapters work diligently to continue to build partnerships in order to create programs that connect the civilian community to local military kids and spouses. Blue Star Museums is the result of a partnership between Blue Star Families and National Endowment for the Arts, Joining Forces, MetLife Foundation, and nearly 2,000 museums. This program allows all active duty military, National Guard, and Reserve military personnel and their families to gain free admission to participating museums from Memorial Day through Labor Day. This highly successful program led to the Blue Star Theatre program, where more than 90 theaters nationwide have joined Blue Star Families to offer discounted or complimentary admission to military personnel, their families, and veterans.
Through powerful programming for military families and children, Blue Star Families has made a significant impact in the lives of our military families and continues to be a shining example to all.
May 21, 2013 | 1:02:47 | Public Domain
White House Press Briefings are conducted most weekdays from the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the West Wing.
Statements and Releases
President Obama Announces His Intent to Appoint Individuals to the Presidential Commission on Election Administration
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