By Jueseppi B.
WATCH LIVE: President’s Remarks on Common Sense Immigration Reform Today!
Today at 2:35 PM ET, 11:35 AM PT, the President will deliver remarks at the Betty Ong Recreation Center in San Francisco, California where he will call on Congress to pass commonsense immigration reform. Watch live HERE.
For the last two weeks, President Obama, Vice President Biden and a number of our Cabinet Secretaries, as well as White House Senior Staff have continued to make the case for comprehensive immigration reform. On November 19, the President spoke at theWall Street Journal CEO Council Annual Meeting and described why fixing our broken immigration system is good for our economy and national security:
The good news here is the Senate has already passed a bipartisan bill that economists say would grow our economy by $1.4 trillion and shrink our deficits by nearly a trillion over the next two decades. You wouldn’t turn down a deal that good, and Congress shouldn’t either. So I’m hoping that Speaker Boehner and the House of Representatives can still work with us to get that done.
The very next day, President Obama named sixteen recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. The list of leaders included several innovative immigrants who have enriched American culture: Daniel Kahneman, an Israeli-American pioneer scholar of psychology,Mario Molina, a Mexican-American chemist and environmental scientist and Arturo Sandoval, a celebrated jazz musician and composer from Cuba.
Over the past week and a half several top Administration officials have visited Eliseo Medina and others participating in the “Fast for Families.” Today marks day 14 of their water only fast to bring attention to the urgency of passing common sense immigration reform. Administration officials who have visited the Fasters to recognize their courage and drawn inspiration from their action include, Vice President Joe Biden, Chief of Staff Denis McDonough,Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, Director of Domestic Policy Cecilia Muñoz, Secretary Tom Perez, and Secretary Tom Vilsack.
Valerie Jarret, Senior Advisor to the President visits with Fast for Families on the National Mall. (Official White House Photo by Julie Chavez Rodriguez)
On November 14, the Vice President joined by Director Alejandro Mayorkas, USCIS, welcomed 104 new American citizensrepresenting 50 countries at a naturalization ceremony at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center in Atlanta, Georgia. In his remarks, he expressed his gratitude to the new citizens for their valuable contributions to our society:
Thank you for choosing us – thank you for concluding America was worthy of your aspirations….The truth of the matter is you’ve been Americans for a long time, long before you raised your right hand today, because you’ve all adhered to the idea of America.
Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas stand for the National Anthem at a naturalization ceremony at the Martin Luther King Junior Center, in Atlanta, Georgia, November 14, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
A few days later, the Vice President traveled to Panama City, Panama to discuss hemispheric relations with Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli. A press conference was held at the country’s Presidential Palace, and during that briefing Vice President Biden explained that much of the diplomatic discussion revolved around the Administration’s priority of fixing our broken immigration system:
We need – we need – to update and make more rational our immigration policy in the United States of America. It’s a matter of simple justice and respect. Respect and dignity needs to be brought to the 11 million undocumented men, women and children, allowing them to come out of the shadows. They are not only Hispanic. They represent every part of the world. They are Asian. They are Irish. They are Russian. They are African. But they deserve to be treated with dignity.
A majority of Americans agree that now is the time to fix our broken immigration system. As we prepare to give thanks with our loved ones, let’s remember the positive impact comprehensive immigration reform would have on immigrants and their families.
Julie Chavez Rodriguez
White House | Office of Public Engagement
Secretary Tom Perez – Building Ladders of Opportunity for Immigrant and American Workers
November 20, 2013
President Obama understands with great clarity that the truest measure of our economic success as a nation is not abundance, but widely-shared prosperity, a thriving middle class, and the opportunity for American businesses and their workers to create both. We are, fundamentally, a nation of immigrants. It has been and will continue to be America’s greatest strength – a critical component of our nation’s economic engine.
ICE proposes changes to international student programs
November 19, 2013
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is proposingchanges to the requirements governing its Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) that are intended to improve management of international student programs and increase opportunities for study by spouses and children of nonimmigrant students.
DOL – Youth CareerConnect Grants
November 19, 2013
To compete in today’s global economy, America’s students need deep knowledge and skills that will prepare them for college and the jobs of the future. Yet far too many of America’s students are not meaningfully engaged or motivated in their academic experience while in high school. Many high school graduates lack exposure to learning that links their work in school to college and careers—especially in the critically important fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
USCIS – New Security Enhancement Helps E-Verify Deter Employee Fraud
November 18, 2013
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Alejandro Mayorkas today announced an enhancement to the E-Verify program that will help combat identity fraud by identifying and deterring fraudulent use of Social Security numbers (SSNs) for employment eligibility verification. This enhancement provides a critical safeguard to the E-Verify system by detecting and preventing potential fraudulent use of SSNs to gain work authorization.
Welcome New Citizens
November 22, 2013
Katherine Archuleta, Director of the Office of Personnel Management, writes about her participation in a naturalization ceremony: Thursday was an inspirational day for me. I had the honor of witnessing 35 new Americans from 20 countries take the oath of citizenship at the USCIS office in Fairfax, Va. and offering them some words of welcome. And this was a very special group of new citizens. You see, they had not passed their first citizenship test. So they studied and studied and in the true spirit of this country, they returned Thursday to try again. And they succeeded.
November 22, 2013
Department of Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez writes about his visit with immigration reform fasters on the National Mall: In 1968, in the thick of the farmworkers’ struggle to gain basic rights and relief from brutal mistreatment, Cesar Chavez didn’t just march or strike or demonstrate − he fasted in order to raise awareness about his movement and highlight the importance of nonviolent resistance. Today, a new generation of activists is going without all food except water – this time to bring attention to the urgent need for comprehensive immigration reform.
Visiting the Fast for Families in Support of Immigration Reform
November 21, 2013
Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the Domestic Policy Council, describes her visit with Fast for Families participants: I had the honor of visiting with the fasters and hearing their stories on day 9 of their water-only fast, and I was deeply moved by their moral commitment. They described why immigration reform matters in their lives, as it does for Christian, a DREAMer who told me he is fasting for his own chance at citizenship, to honor his parents, and to call attention to the need for immigration reform to keep his family from the threat of separation.
President Obama Welcomes America’s Nine New Nobel Laureates to the White House
November 19, 2013
President Obama met with nine of the Nation’s foremost innovators, creative thinkers, and builders of the future—the American recipients of 2013 Nobel Prizes in natural sciences and economics. The President was joined in the meeting by OSTP Director John P. Holdren, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) Jason Furman, Ambassador Björn Lyrvall of Sweden, Ambassador Kåre Aas of Norway; and a number of the Nobel Laureates’ family members.
Vice President Biden Celebrates Citizenship at King Center Naturalization Ceremony
November 15, 2013
At a naturalization ceremony, Vice President Joe Biden highlights the Obama Administration’s celebration of citizenship and across the board commitment to passing commonsense immigration reform that includes a pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living and working in the U.S. today.
Working in Coalition to Build a Stronger AAPI Community
November 15, 2013
Hosted at the 30-year old Filipino Cultural Center, the White House Initiative on AAPIs Regional Interagency Work Group community, convening in Overland, Kansas, gathered over 40 individuals representing immigrant communities from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines, Pakistan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
USCIS – Spanish Language Enlace Session
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will conduct a national Spanish language Enlace session as part of an ongoing series of public engagements. This free session is an opportunity for Spanish speakers to engage with us in their own language.
Who: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
What: During the Enlace, we will provide agency updates, discuss immigration-related topics and answer your questions.
When: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 from 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM(Eastern)
Where: Online webinar/teleconference
To RSVP: The event will be broadcast live from USCIS Headquarters and you can participate by:
- Calling us toll-free on 1-888-790-1962 (Password: Enlace);
- Viewing our live Web stream at www.uscis.gov/live/enlace;
- Emailing us a question at OPE-Live@uscis.dhs.gov.
The Man & His Posse On The Move….
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