Obama to announce immigration executive action
Tune In: The President Addresses the Nation on Immigration Reform
Our immigration system has been broken for decades — and every minute we fail to act, millions of people who live in the shadows but want to play by the rules and pay taxes have no way to live right by the law and contribute to our country.
So tomorrow night, President Obama will address the nation to lay out the executive actions he’s taking to fix our broken immigration system. You can watch the President live tomorrow night at 8 p.m. ET at WhiteHouse.gov/Live.
“We Were Strangers Once, Too”: The President Announces New Steps on Immigration
The President Speaks on Fixing America’s Broken Immigration System
Published on Nov 20, 2014
In an address to the nation, President Obama lays out the executive action he’s taking to fix our nation’s broken immigration system, November 20, 2014.
“Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger — we were strangers once, too. My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too.”
– President Obama, November 20, 2014
Since the founding of our nation, we’ve weaved a tradition of welcoming immigrants into the very fabric of who we are. It’s what keeps us dynamic, entrepreneurial, and uniquely American.
But, as we know all too well, America’s immigration system is broken. So tonight, President Obama addressed the nation on the executive actions he is taking to help fix what he can:
1. We will build on our progress at the border with additional resources for our law enforcement personnel.
Today, we have more agents and technology deployed to secure our southern border than at any time in our history. And over the past six years, illegal border crossings have been cut by more than half. Although this summer, there was a brief spike in unaccompanied children being apprehended at our border, the number of such children is now actually lower than it’s been in nearly two years. Overall, the number of people trying to cross our border illegally is at its lowest level since the 1970s. Those are the facts.
2. We will make it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy, as so many business leaders have proposed.
3. We will take steps to deal responsibly with the millions of undocumented immigrants who already live in our country.
Families who enter our country the right way and play by the rules watch others flout the rules. Business owners who offer their workers good wages and benefits see the competition exploit undocumented immigrants by paying them far less. All of us take offense to anyone who reaps the rewards of living in America without taking on the responsibilities of living in America. And undocumented immigrants who desperately want to embrace those responsibilities see little option but to remain in the shadows, or risk their families being torn apart.
We are a nation of immigrants, and we are a nation of laws. We must hold accountable those who broke the law, while understanding that the mass deportation of millions of Americans is neither possible nor in keeping with who we are as Americans. That is why the President is focusing enforcement resources on actual threats to our security: “Felons, not families. Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mom who’s working hard to provide for her kids.”
“I continue to believe that the best way to solve this problem is by working together to pass that kind of common-sense law.”
So here is the deal the President put forward tonight:
If you’ve been in America for more than five years; if you have children who are American citizens or legal residents; if you register, pass a criminal background check, and you’re willing to pay your fair share of taxes — you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily, without fear of deportation. You can come out of the shadows and get right with the law.
Here is what this deal is not: Amnesty. Amnesty is the immigration system we have now, in which millions of people live here without paying their taxes or playing by the rules, and politicians use this issue to scare and divide Americans.
That’s the real amnesty — leaving this broken system the way it is. Mass amnesty would be unfair. Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character. What I’m describing is accountability — a common-sense, middle ground approach: If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. If you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported. If you plan to enter the U.S. illegally, your chances of getting caught and sent back just went up.
The best and most definitive way to fix the system is to pass comprehensive and common-sense immigration reform in Congress. Last year, 68 Democrats, Republicans, and independents in the Senate came together to do just that. That bipartisan bill would have doubled the number of Border Patrol agents; given undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship if they pay a fine, start paying taxes, and go to the back of the line; and boosted our economy while shrinking the deficit.
“What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal — that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the chance to make of our lives what we will.”
But more than 500 days later, Republicans in the House continue to block the bipartisan bill from a vote. “Had the House of Representatives allowed that kind of a bill a simple yes-or-no vote, it would have passed with support from both parties, and today it would be the law,” the President noted.
So the President had to act, just as every president since President Eisenhower has over this last half century.
To those Members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill.
At the heart of the President’s actions is a commitment to who we are as a nation. We are a nation that values families and works together to keep them together. We are a nation that educates the world’s best and brightest, and encourages them to stay and create jobs here.
We are a nation that welcomes the tired, the poor, and the huddled weary who yearn to breathe free and build a better life for their children.
As the President said:
Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger — we were strangers once, too.
My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too. And whether our forebears were strangers who crossed the Atlantic, or the Pacific, or the Rio Grande, we are here only because this country welcomed them in, and taught them that to be an American is about something more than what we look like, or what our last names are, or how we worship. What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal – that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the chance to make of our lives what we will.
American Immigration Rejoice
Read more about the details of the President’s actions at WhiteHouse.gov/Immigration-Action.
Here’s What the President Is Doing to Fix Our Broken Immigration System:
Tonight at 8 p.m. ET, the President will address the nation on the new steps he’s taking to increase accountability and fix what he can in our immigration system. You can watch his address live here.
As everyone knows, our immigration system has been broken for decades, and the President is doing his job to address the problems that he can with his executive authority. He will continue to work with Congress to pass comprehensive and common-sense immigration reform that will offer a long-term and much-needed solution.
So what exactly is the President’s plan for immigration? Take a look at what the President plans to do:
Every U.S. president since President Eisenhower has used his executive authority to address immigration issues. However, President Obama cannot fix the system on his own — Congress must pass comprehensive immigration reform in order to enact a long-term solution. The U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan immigration bill more than 500 days ago, but House Republicans are still refusing to bring it up for a vote.
The President is doing his job, and it’s time for Republicans in Congress to do theirs so we can build a system that lives up to our history as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.
To learn more about the President’s actions, watch his address live tonight at 8 p.m. ET here: WhiteHouse.gov/Immigration-Action
The President Awards the National Medals of Science and National Medals of Technology and Innovation
November 20, 2014 | 29:37 | Public Domain
President Obama delivers remarks at the National Medals of Science and National Medals of Technology and Innovation awards ceremony.
President Obama Honors America’s Top Scientists and Engineers, Launches New Steps to Cultivate Tomorrow’s Innovators
Today, in the East Room of the White House, President Obama awarded National Medals of Science and National Medals of Technology and Innovation to 19 of our nation’s top thinkers, discoverers, and innovators — marveling both at the amount of brainpower packed into the room and the magnitude of the laureates’ achievements.
“The results of the work of the people we honor today have transformed our world,”President Obama said.
The medals are the nation’s highest honors for achievement and leadership in advancing the fields of science and technology. This year’s class of laureates includes individuals with groundbreaking accomplishments that have improved lives and pushed forward the boundaries of human understanding — from contributions including the commercialization of thumb drives and invention of minimally invasive medical devices, to new insights about insect-plant interactions and how heart valves operate, to the fundamental research that has made HPV vaccines a reality.
In remarks honoring the awardees, President Obama noted that to continue this legacy of scientific discovery and technological innovation, we must do all that we can to lift our game in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education:
We have to remind ourselves constantly that so much of what has set us apart economically, culturally, is our commitment to science. And we have to continue to broaden opportunities for young scientists, especially girls and minority students, to enter into the field, and we have to remind them of how exciting it is to be able to shape the world, unlock its secrets, make new stuff. That’s who we are.
President Barack Obama presents the National Medal of Technology and Innovation to Eli Harari, SanDisk Corporation, Calif. in the East Room of the White House, Nov. 20, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
At today’s ceremony, the President announced a series of important new commitments and announcements to advance his Educate to Innovate initiative, an all-hands-on-deck campaign to help more girls and boys be inspired to excel in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects. The campaign reflects the President’s core conviction that far more needs to be done in giving students the critical skills needed to succeed in STEM fields, and that success requires action not just from the federal government, but also the broader community of educational leaders, foundations, companies, non-profits, and science and technology professionals. Steps announced by the President and Educate to Innovate partners today include:
- 100kin10, a network of more than 200 partners, announced that it has raised another $28 million in support of the goal of preparing 100,000 excellent STEM teachers over a decade.
- Change the Equation, a coalition of leading CEOs, committed to expanding high-quality STEM programs to more than 1 million students by 2016.
- Discovery Communications will launch a new show next year to inspire students in STEM fields, highlighting “All-American Makers.”
- Ongoing progress from a range of partners, with full details here.
Noting the achievements of today’s medalists and the promise and potential of a new generation of scientific discoverers, explorers, builders, and makers, President Obama remarked:
That’s one of the things that makes America exceptional — this sense that we push against limits and that we’re not afraid to ask questions. And when that spirit, that sense of possibility, is truly unleashed, then you get the remarkable men and women that you see here today.
The White House warmly congratulates all of today’s National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation laureates. Tomorrow’s laureates are sitting in classrooms across the country today, and the world awaits the incredible discoveries and inventions to come.
President Barack Obama presents the National Medal of Science posthumously to David Blackwell, University of California, Berkeley, Calif. in the East Room of the White House, Nov. 20, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
November 20th 2014: Photo of the Day
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have lunch with youth from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe at We The Pizza/Good Stuff Eatery in Washington, D.C., Nov. 20, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Speeches and Remarks
Statements and Releases
Travel Journal of the Vice President’s Trip to Morocco, Ukraine, Turkey
November 20, 2014 Dates and Milk Welcome Vice President and Dr. Biden to Morocco
Welcome to your one-stop shop for everything you need to know about Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden’s three-country, five-day visit to Morocco, Ukraine, and Turkey.
The first stop on the Vice President and Dr. Biden’s three-country trip was Morocco. The Vice President and Dr. Biden’s visit started on a sweet note, as they were greeted at the airport with dates and milk, a traditional Moroccan welcome.
Morocco has a special place in the history and hearts of Americans because it was the first nation in the world to recognize the United States nearly 237 years ago. The Vice President’s visit, the first by a sitting U.S. Vice President in decades, marked the latest chapter in a long and storied friendship.
After arriving, the Vice President met with His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco. The two reaffirmed our countries’ alliance and enduring friendship. The Vice President and King discussed a range of issues, including:
- Achieving a secure, stable, and prosperous Magreb, Africa, and Middle East
- The two countries’ efforts together as part of the international coalition against ISIL
- Non-military aspects to combat violent extremism
- Morocco’s important role as a gateway for trade and investment in sub-Saharan Africa.
On Thursday, the Vice President addressed the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, an annual gathering of entrepreneurs and business, government, and thought leaders.
In his remarks, the Vice President announced that the U.S. government has committed to a bold new goal to expand economic opportunity by sparking $1 billion in new private investments for entrepreneurs worldwide. In fact, half of these investments will be generated by women and young entrepreneurs.
“When I travel the region and the entire world, I see young people with limitless promise to make not only their countries but the whole world better…That is the reality. That’s the world we live in,” Vice President Biden said.
Next stop on the trip: Kyiv, Ukraine. Stay tuned for more updates from the road.
In the afternoon, the Vice President and Dr. Biden will depart Marrakech en route Kyiv, Ukraine.
Friday, November 21st
In the morning, the Vice President will hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk at the Cabinet of Ministers Club. In the afternoon, the Vice President will attend a working lunch with President Poroshenko at the House of Chimeras. Following their lunch, the Vice President and President Poroshenko will deliver a joint statement to the press at the Presidential Administration Building.
Afterwards, the Vice President will attend a roundtable discussion on anti-corruption efforts. In the evening, the Vice President and Dr. Biden will depart Kyiv en route Istanbul, Turkey.
Later in the evening, the Vice President will attend a working dinner with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
Saturday, November 22nd
In the morning, the Vice President will deliver remarks and participate in a moderated discussion with the Atlantic Council Energy Conference.
Afterwards, the Vice President will attend a meeting of the National Democratic Institute “Checks and Balances Networ.”
Later, the Vice President will attend a working lunch with President Erdogan at the Beylerbeyi Palace.
Sunday, November 23rd
In the morning, the Vice President will meet with His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
In the afternoon, the Vice President and Dr. Biden will depart Istanbul en route Washington, DC.
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Filed under: Politics | Tagged: Americans, Angus King, Barack Obama, Border, Congress, Conservatives, Dreamers, East Room, Executive Action, Executive Order, Illegal immigration, Immigrants, immigration, Immigration reform, John Boehner, Latin Grammys, Republicans, Speech, United States, United States Congress, White House | 5 Comments »