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Weekly Address: Immigration Accountability Executive Action

In Uncategorized on November 22, 2014 at 2:24 pm

President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 21, 2014.

President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 21, 2014.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

In this week’s address, the President laid out the steps he took this past week to fix our broken immigration system. Enacted within his legal authority, the President’s plan focuses on cracking down on illegal immigration at the border; deporting felons, not families; and accountability through criminal background checks and taxes. These are commonsense steps, but only Congress can finish the job.

As the President acts, he’ll continue to work with Congress on a comprehensive, bipartisan bill — like the one passed by the Senate more than a year ago — that can replace these actions and fix the whole system.

Transcript | mp4 | mp3


Learn more about the President’s action on immigration here.

Article source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/11/22/weekly-address-immigration-accountability-executive-action

West Wing Week: 11/21/14 or, "Mingalarbar!"

In Uncategorized on November 22, 2014 at 2:22 am

This week, the President visited Burma for the second time in his presidency, attended the G20 Summit in Australia, worked to expand access to broadband and 21st century technology in our schools, and addressed the nation about the steps he is taking to fix our broken immigration system. That’s November 14th to November 20th or, “Mingalarbar!”

Friday, November 14th

Saturday, November 15th

  • The President was in Brisbane, Australia at the University of Queensland, where he highlighted the unshakable alliance between the U.S. and Australia, and outlined his vision for advancing democracy and cooperation in the Asia Pacific.
  • Next, it was time to kick off the G20 Summit. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott welcomed the President and other world leaders to the summit, and then the leaders participated in a series of meetings to discuss economic cooperation on issues like development, energy and trade.

Sunday, November 16th

Tuesday, November 18th

​Wednesday, November 19th

Thursday, November 20th

  • The Vice President attended the Global Entrepreneurship summit, and delivered the keynote address.
  • That evening, The Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden departed Morocco for Ukraine.
  • At the White House, the President and First Lady invited youth from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to visit the Oval Office and a local restaurant.
  • That night, in prime-time, the President delivered an address to the nation, where he announced steps that he would take to reform our broken immigration system.

Article source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/11/21/west-wing-week-112114-or-mingalarbar

What They’re Saying About the President’s New Action on Immigration

In Uncategorized on November 22, 2014 at 2:22 am

Last night, President Obama addressed the nation and laid out the steps he’ll be taking — within his executive authority as President — to start fixing America’s broken immigration system:

  1. Building on our progress at the border with additional resources for our law enforcement personnel.
  2. Making it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy, as many business leaders have proposed.
  3. Dealing responsibly with the millions of undocumented immigrants who already live in our country.

“I continue to believe that the best way to solve this problem is by working together to pass that kind of common-sense law,” the President said. He noted, however, that House Republicans continue to block a bipartisan immigration bill that the Senate passed a year and a half ago.

“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,” he said, “I have one answer: Pass a bill.”

Read more about the President’s action at WhiteHouse.gov/Immigration-Action.

Already, a number of people — ranging from prominent politicians and members of Congress to media personalities and other organizations — have voiced their strong support for the President’s action. Take a look what they had to say on Twitter:

And here are a few more statements in support:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton:

“I support the President’s decision to begin fixing our broken immigration system and focus finite resources on deporting felons rather than families. I was hopeful that the bipartisan bill passed by the Senate in 2013 would spur the House of Representatives to act, but they refused even to advance an alternative. Their abdication of responsibility paved the way for this executive action, which follows established precedent from Presidents of both parties going back many decades. But, only Congress can finish the job by passing permanent bipartisan reform that keeps families together, treats everyone with dignity and compassion, upholds the rule of law, protects our borders and national security, and brings millions of hard-working people out of the shadows and into the formal economy so they can pay taxes and contribute to our nation’s prosperity. Our disagreements on this important issue may grow heated at times, but I am confident that people of good will and good faith can yet find common ground. We should never forget that we’re not discussing abstract statistics – we’re talking about real families with real experiences. We’re talking about parents lying awake at night afraid of a knock on the door that could tear their families apart, people who love this country, work hard, and want nothing more than a chance to contribute to the community and build better lives for themselves and their children.”

Gov. Deval Patrick, Massachusetts:

“I am grateful for the President’s leadership.  By calling for action on comprehensive reform legislation, he has not ignored the Congress’s authority, and by using his executive authority as he has, he has not ignored his own. America’s enduring strength is her appeal to the hunger in the human heart for freedom, equality, opportunity, and fair play. That has brought aspirants to our shores for centuries,  to renew and replenish our culture and our economy.  We need to fix the rules that govern how they come and deal with the reality that, in the land of the free, some of our neighbors, friends and coworkers live in the shadows.”

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors:

“For more than a decade the nation’s mayors have called for repairs to our broken immigration system. We applaud the President’s actions today, which are consistent with the adopted policy of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.  They will ensure that millions of undocumented immigrants, who want to play by the rules and pay taxes, are protected from deportation and made eligible to work. These actions will not only stabilize families and communities, they will strengthen the American economy and our national security. We look forward to assisting the Administration in this effort.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.):

“Today’s immigration announcement is great news for families in Nevada and across the country. Millions of families in our nation and thousands in Nevada will no longer have to live in fear of losing a loved one to deportation. The President’s executive action will not only keep families together, it will enforce our immigration laws in a way that protects our national security and public safety. It will strengthen our economy by creating new jobs and allowing these families to fully contribute to the only country they call home. The American people have waited for us to fix our country’s broken immigration system. The Senate passed a strong bipartisan comprehensive immigration bill over a year ago that would have permanently fixed our broken immigration system. Sadly, House Republicans have demonstrated that they are more interested in playing partisan politics than doing what is right for our country. They ask for more time but we have given them plenty of time, 511 days to be exact. The House let millions of families languish while passing measures to revoke Deferred Action and deport DREAMers, leaving the President no option but to take matters into his own hands. The President’s executive action is a good first step; however it is only a temporary solution. President Obama is doing what he can within his well-established constitutional authority but nothing replaces Congress acting on comprehensive immigration reform. So today, while I thank President Obama for his decisive action, I ask my Republican colleagues to put their partisan politics aside and focus their efforts on passing legislation that will permanently fix our broken immigration system. I will continue to fight until we make immigration reform a reality.”

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.):

“Tonight, President Obama announced bold action to bring our broken immigration system into line with our values as a people and our needs as a nation. The President’s Immigration Accountability Executive Actions will secure our borders, prioritize enforcement, and provide relief to millions of hard-working, law-abiding families who may now have a happy Thanksgiving free from the fear of separation. The President’s actions fall well within the clear constitutional and legal authority of his office, and the well-established precedent set by every president since Eisenhower. Even Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush used this authority to refine our immigration system in service of the national interest. Executive action is no substitute for legislation, and the President’s action does not absolve Congress of its own responsibility. Democrats will continue to demand action on bipartisan immigration legislation that will provide lasting certainty to immigrant families, and secure the billions of dollars in economic benefits Republicans’ inaction has denied our country.”

Article source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/11/21/what-theyre-saying-about-presidents-new-action-immigration

Chart of the Week: Our Border Is More Secure than It Has Been in Decades

In Uncategorized on November 22, 2014 at 2:22 am

In an address to the nation last night, President Obama announced new steps he’s taking to fix our broken immigration system and ensure nearly 5 million people will be held accountable and have the opportunity to play by the rules.

Using his executive authority, the President is making it easier for high-skilled immigrants and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to the economy, as well as allowing certain undocumented immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for more than five years to get right by the law.

Alongside those steps, the President is also continuing to strengthen our border security. In fact, the Obama administration’s investment in border technology, manpower, and resources represents the most serious and sustained action to secure our border in our nation’s history.

Today, there are more than 18,000 border patrol agents at our southwest border alone, the miles of fencing and barriers have more than doubled, unmanned aircraft systems have more than doubled, and ground surveillance has almost doubled — making our border more secure than it has been in decades.

As a result of the President’s focus on security over the past six years, illegal border crossings have been cut by more than half. Check out this chart to see how the number of people trying to cross our border illegally is at its lowest level since the 1970s:

Now, using his executive authority, the President will take new steps to crack down on illegal immigration at the border by continuing to deploy more resources that strengthen enforcement and focusing on deporting undocumented immigrants who recently crossed the border.

“We’re going to keep focusing enforcement resources on actual threats to our security,” he said last night. “Felons, not families. Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mom who’s working hard to provide for her kids. We’ll prioritize.”

The best way to fix our immigration system, however, is to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Last year, the Senate passed a bipartisan bill that would add 20,000 more border patrol agents to our border and address other significant issues with our system. But more than 500 days later, House Republicans continue to block the bill from a vote. 

So the President will continue to do what he can to ensure that our borders are secure and that we live up to our heritage as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. 

Learn more about the steps President Obama is taking here: www.whitehouse.gov/immigration-action

Article source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/11/21/chart-week-our-border-more-secure-it-has-been-decades

Weekly Wrap Up: This Week at the White House

In Uncategorized on November 22, 2014 at 2:22 am

It’s been a busy week here at the White House. In case you’ve missed some of our top stories this week, here’s a recap.


Photo of the Week:


We Took Action to Fix Our Broken Immigration System

More than 500 days ago, the Senate passed a bipartisan immigration bill — but House Republicans have yet to vote on the legislation. In the meantime, the President is taking the steps necessary to move our nation forward and fix our broken immigration system.

In last night’s address from the White House, President Obama laid out the executive actions he’s taking to fix as much of our broken immigration system as he can. Check out some of the highlights from the President’s address to the nation by clicking on the graphic below:

Take a look back at how Presidents from both parties have taken action on immigration:


We Took Steps to Improve Child Care

On Wednesday, the President signed S. 1086, the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act, into law.

What exactly will the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act do?

The new law, which reauthorizes the Child Care and Development Block Grant program:

  • Improves the quality of child care by requiring more training for caregivers
  • Improves child safety by instituting background checks for staff and better inspection of facilities
  • Helps working parents that receive subsidies to pay for child care

President Obama signs S. 1086, the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014

President Barack Obama signs S. 1086, the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014, during a signing ceremony in the Oval Office, Nov. 19, 2014.

(Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)


We Launched a New Effort to Support Digital Learning

On Wednesday, President Obama launched a new effort to assist school leaders across the country in their transition to digital learning with the Future Ready Digital Pledge — a part of the President’s ConnectED initiative.

What’s the ConnectED initiative?

Glad you asked. Below are some details about the initiative:

  • Upgrading connectivity: Within five years, ConnectED will connect 99 percent of America’s students to high-speed broadband Internet in their schools and libraries.
  • Training teachers: ConnectED empowers teachers with the best technology and training so they can improve their students’ learning.
  • Encouraging private-sector innovation: ConnectED encourages leading technology companies to produce feature-rich educational devices that are price-competitive with basic textbooks.

Watch on YouTube


We Celebrated the 151st Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address

On Wednesday, we launched a new blog series called “This Day in History.” To celebrate the launch, we went back to 1863 and took a deep dive into the history of the Gettysburg Address. Check out some of the interesting facts from the post below:

  • As it turns out, President Lincoln wasn’t actually intended to be the keynote speaker. He attended the ceremony to dedicate a cemetery for fallen Union soldiers who had fought in the Battle of Gettysburg.
  • There are currently five known transcripts of the Gettysburg Address. Two of them are located in the Library of Congress and the others are now in the Lincoln Room of the White House, the Illinois State Historical Library in Springfield, and Cornell University in New York.
  • In 2013, President Obama penned a handwritten essay to pay homage to President Lincoln’s historical remarks. Check it out here — and watch President Obama recite the Gettysburg Address here.

We Received an Update on Ebola

On Tuesday, President Obama attended a meeting with his national security and public health teams to receive an update on the latest news regarding Ebola and our continued response in West Africa.

“Although we should feel optimistic about our capacity to solve the Ebola crisis, we cannot be complacent simply because the news attention on it has waned,” he said. “We have to stay with it.”

In his remarks, President Obama also addressed the horrific attacks that happened in Jerusalem on Tuesday morning.

“We know that two attackers senselessly and brutally attacked innocent worshippers in a synagogue during their morning prayers. Obviously, we condemn in the strongest terms these attacks. A number of people were wounded, and four people were killed, including three American citizens. So this is a tragedy for both nations, Israel as well as the United States.”


Want to see even more? Be sure to check out this week’s episode of West Wing Week and the White House’s official Twitter account:

Watch on YouTube

Article source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/11/21/weekly-wrap-week-white-house

President Obama Returns to Las Vegas to Talk Action on Immigration

In Uncategorized on November 22, 2014 at 2:22 am

Watch on YouTube

Following his address to the nation last night, President Obama traveled to Las Vegas today to detail the new steps he’s taking to start fixing America’s broken immigration system.

Before he began his remarks at Del Sol High School — the same place where he called on Congress to act on comprehensive immigration reform nearly two years ago — the President was introduced by Astrid Silva, an immigrant and college student who he mentioned in last night’s address.

Astrid, who was brought to the United States as a young child, found out as she grew up that she was undocumented. Fearing that she and her brother could be separated from their dad, Astrid decided to become an advocate for fellow DREAMers, stand up for her family, and fight to make a difference in America.

“Part of what makes America exceptional is that we welcome exceptional people like Astrid,” the President said. “It makes us stronger. It makes us vibrant and dynamic. It makes us hopeful. We are a nation of immigrants, and that means that we’re constantly being replenished with strivers who believe in the American Dream.”


“It continues the promise that here in America, you can make it if you try, regardless of where you come from, regardless of the circumstances of your birth.”


President Obama delivers remarks on immigration at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, Nov. 21, 2014

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on immigration at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 21, 2014.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

As the President noted in his remarks, it’s been 512 days since the Senate passed a bipartisan immigration bill. But for the year and a half since the bill passed, Republican leaders in the House of Representatives have blocked it from a simple yes-or-no vote:

It was a sensible bill, and all these members of Congress, they worked on it and were supportive of it. And independent experts — not me — people who analyze the economy for a living, they said that over two decades, the new law would grow our economy, shrink our deficits. In other words, it would help to solve some big problems in a bipartisan way. And nobody was happier than me. And when it passed the Senate, we said, all right, let’s send it over to the House, we’ve got the votes in the House. We’ve got Democrats and Republicans who were prepared to vote for it in the House.

It has now been 512 days — a year and a half — in which the only thing standing in the way of that bipartisan bill and my desk so that I can sign that bill, the only thing that’s been standing in the way is a simple yes-or-no vote in the House of Representatives. Just a yes-or-no vote. If they had allowed a vote on that kind of bill, it would have passed. I would have signed it. It would be the law right now.

“The fact that a year and a half has gone by means that time has been wasted,” the President said. “And during that time, families have been separated. And during that time, businesses have been harmed. And we can’t afford it anymore.”


“Las Vegas, I have come back to Del Sol to tell you I’m not giving up. I will never give up. I will never give up. I will not give up.”


President Obama delivers remarks on immigration at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, Nov. 21, 2014 (2)

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on immigration at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 21, 2014.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama reiterated that he will continue to work with Congress to make permanent, comprehensive, common-sense immigration reform a reality. Until then, however, he will take actions — within his executive authority as President — to make America’s immigration system more fair and more just.

The actions he first announced last night are a clear example, as they will:

  1. Improve border security, by providing more resources to law enforcement to stem the flow of illegal border crossings and speed up the return of those who do cross over
  2. Make it easier for high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our nation’s economy
  3. Deal responsibly with the millions of undocumented immigrants who are already in our country

As the President did last night, he took time to further explain that last action, as it’s “the one that brings up the strongest passions on both sides.” While noting that this is just a first step and not the only step, the President explained what the deal entails:

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, you pass a background check, you are willing to pay your fair share of taxes — then you’re going to be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily without fear of deportation. You can come out of the shadows, get right with the law.

Now, let’s be clear on what this deal is, and what it isn’t. This action doesn’t apply to anybody who has come to this country recently. You can’t show up for a week and then suddenly apply — you can’t. Because borders mean something. It doesn’t apply to anybody who might come illegally in the future. While I support a path to citizenship — and so do all these legislators here — this action doesn’t grant citizenship, or the right to stay permanently, or receive the same benefits that citizens receive — only Congress can do that. All we’re saying is we’re not going to deport you and separate you from your kids.

Now, if you’ve taken responsibility, you’ve registered, undergone a background check, you’re paying taxes, you’ve been here for five years, you’ve got roots in the community — you’re not going to be deported.


“What we are offering is accountability. It’s a common-sense, middle-ground approach. If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows, you can get right with the law.”


The President closed his remarks by making clear that the immigration debate deserves more than the usual politics, as “this is about something bigger.”

We’re not a nation that kicks out strivers and dreamers who want to earn their piece of the American Dream. We’re a nation that finds a way to welcome them. We make them earn it, but we welcome them in as fellow human beings, fellow children of God. And we harness their talents to make the future brighter for everybody.

We didn’t raise the Statue of Liberty with her back to the world, we did it with her light shining as a beacon to the world. And whether we were Irish or Italians or Germans crossing the Atlantic, or Japanese or Chinese crossing the Pacific; whether we crossed the Rio Grande or flew here from all over the world — generations of immigrants have made this country into what it is. It’s what makes us special.

And whether we fled famine, or war, or persecution; whether we had the right documents, or connections, or skills; whether we were wealthy or poor — we all shared one thing, and that was hope that America would be the place where we could finally build a better life for ourselves and for our children, and for future generations. Hope that America is the place where we could make it.

That’s what makes us Americans. It’s not what we look like. It’s not what our last name is. It’s not where we come from. It’s not how we pray. What makes us American is a shared commitment to an ideal that all of us are created equal, all of us have a chance to make our lives what we will.

For generations, America — by choice and Americans by birth have come together to renew that common creed and move this country forward that brought us to this moment. That is the legacy that we now have to deliver to the next generation.

Read the President’s full remarks here. And for more information on the President’s plan, visit WhiteHouse.gov/Immigration-Action.

President Obama greets audience members after making remarks on immigration at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, Nov. 21, 2014

President Barack Obama greets audience members after making remarks on immigration at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 21, 2014.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Article source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/11/21/president-obama-returns-las-vegas-talk-action-immigration

"We Were Strangers Once, Too": The President Announces New Steps on Immigration

In Uncategorized on November 21, 2014 at 2:10 pm

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“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.

Read more about the details of the President’s actions at WhiteHouse.gov/Immigration-Action.

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.” 

President Obama delivers an address to the nation on immigration, Nov. 20, 2014

President Barack Obama delivers an address to the nation on immigration, from the East Room of the White House, Nov. 20, 2014.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


“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.

President Obama delivers an address to the nation on immigration, Nov. 20, 2014

President Barack Obama delivers an address to the nation on immigration, from the East Room of the White House, Nov. 20, 2014.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Article source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/11/20/we-were-strangers-once-too-president-announces-new-steps-immigratio

President Obama Signs the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act

In Uncategorized on November 21, 2014 at 2:07 am

President Obama signs S. 1086, the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014

President Barack Obama signs S. 1086, the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014, during a signing ceremony in the Oval Office, Nov. 19, 2014.

(Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Yesterday, in the Oval Office, President Obama signed S. 1086, the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act, into law.

“One of my top priorities,” the President said, “is making sure that we’ve got affordable, high-quality child care and early childhood education for our young people across the country. Today, I am pleased to sign a bill into law which is going to bring us closer to that goal.”

As President Obama noted yesterday, the new law — which reauthorizes the Child Care and Development Block Grant program — will also:

  • Improve the quality of child care by requiring more training for caregivers and more enrichment for children
  • Improve child safety by instituting background checks for staff and better inspection of facilities
  • Help working parents that receive subsidies to pay for child care, as children will no longer lose their care when parents find a job or get a raise on the job

“It’s a good step forward,” he said. “It shows that Democrats and Republicans, when it comes to making sure our kids are getting the best possible education, are united. And that’s good for our kids and that’s good for our country.”

Watch the bill signing — along with the President’s remarks — below:

Article source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/11/20/president-obama-signs-child-care-and-development-block-grant-act

Travel Journal of the Vice President’s Trip to Morocco, Ukraine, Turkey:

In Uncategorized on November 21, 2014 at 2:07 am

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.


November 20, 2014     Dates and Milk Welcome Vice President and Dr. Biden to Morocco

Vice President Obama Receives Dates in Morocco

November 19, 2014.

(Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

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. 

Vice President Biden Meets King Mohammed VI

November 19, 2014.

(Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

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. 

The Vice President Speaks at the global Entrepreneurship Summit

November 20, 2014.

(Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Next stop on the trip: Kyiv, Ukraine. Stay tuned for more updates from the road. 


November 18. 2014:

Tomorrow, the Vice President will be in Morocco, where he’ll meet with King Mohammed VI in Fez to discuss a number of issues. And on Thursday, the Vice President will deliver remarks to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Marrakesh. This is the fifth Global Entrepreneurship Summit since President Obama first announced the program in a speech at Cairo University in 2009.

The summit is a way to bring together world leaders to identify how we can deepen ties between business leaders, foundations and social entrepreneurs in the United States and Muslim communities around the world. It’s also the Vice President’s second summit address. His first one was in Istanbul in 2011, where he told young entrepreneurs they “have a chance like no other generation of entrepreneurs to direct the world, to steer it, to bend the curve in the direction of progress, openness, humanity.”

After his speech on Thursday, the Vice President will then meet with young leaders from around the world to discuss the importance of youth entrepreneurship.

Wednesday, November 19th

The Vice President will meet with King Mohammed VI of Morocco.

Thursday, November 20th

In the morning, the Vice President will deliver remarks to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. Afterwards, the Vice President will attend a roundtable discussion with youth entrepreneurs.

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.

Article source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/11/20/travel-journal-vice-president-s-trip-morocco-ukraine-turkey-dates-and-milk-welcome-v

Welcoming Bipartisan Action Against Ebola

In Uncategorized on November 21, 2014 at 2:07 am

While many issues divide Washington, we have seen bipartisan progress — in both the House and the Senate — in the effort to combat Ebola. These steps forward are encouraging, and hopefully suggest positive momentum for the President’s vital $6.2 billion emergency funding request to fight Ebola here at home and in West Africa.

Yesterday, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee approved legislation sponsored by Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) to accelerate the development of Ebola-fighting vaccines and treatments. The legislation leverages a longstanding federal program to incentivize vaccine and therapeutic development by promising prompt regulatory review for drug makers.

Already, teams at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are doing incredible work researching, testing, developing, and approving vaccines to prevent Ebola; large-scale clinical tests of the first two vaccines for Ebola are only weeks away in Liberia and Sierra Leone. But because these vaccines remain unproven, and because others might be even better, the Harkin-Alexander bill could be a valuable tool in this fight.

Today, the House Foreign Affairs Committee gave unanimous approval to legislation by Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ), Karen Bass (D-CA), and Mark Meadows (R-NC), called the “Ebola Emergency Response Act,” which endorses the whole-of-government approach required to continue to tackle this threat. Congress’s bipartisan support for this life-saving work and national security priority shows that the fight against Ebola does not run along party lines.

We welcome bipartisan legislative efforts against this threat and renew our call on Congress to take the most urgent and important step needed to fight this battle: fund the President’s emergency request during the current “lame duck” session. These resources are urgently needed to combat Ebola in West Africa, improve our preparedness here in the United States, and accelerate the development of new vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics — ideas that both parties have embraced.

Article source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/11/20/welcoming-bipartisan-action-against-ebola