For the past two weeks, President Obama has continued to reach out to the unique cross-section of groups pushing for comprehensive immigration reform. On November 5th he hosted a meeting with top business executives to explain the economic benefits of overhauling the nation’s immigration laws and brainstorm possible ways to move forward with legislation in the House:
There’s no reason why we can’t get this done before the end of the year. And I continue to be hopeful that with the leadership of many who are around this table who represent hundreds of thousands of employees and billions of dollars of assets, who are important in their communities all across the country, them joining up with law enforcement, clergy, citizens, to make the case that ultimately folks up on Capitol Hill will do the right thing.
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with business leaders to discuss immigration reform to bolster U.S. economic growth, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Nov. 5, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
That same week, the President traveled to New Orleans to visit one of the world’s busiest port complexes. He toured the facilities and spoke to the community about increasing exports and efficiency. In his remarks he described the positive impact comprehensive immigration reform would have on our economy and reminded the audience that both parties have historically supported fixing our broken immigration system:
Over the next two decades, it would grow our economy by $1.4 trillion. It would shrink our deficits by nearly a trillion dollars. This should not be a partisan issue. President Bush proposed the broad outlines of common-sense immigration reform almost a decade ago. When I was in the Senate, I joined 23 of my Republican colleagues to back those reforms. This year, the Senate has already passed a bill with broad bipartisan support.
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden join hands during a prayer at the end of an immigration reform meeting with faith leaders in the Oval Office, Nov. 13, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
On November 13th the President and Vice President welcomed faith leaders to the Oval Office to discuss the moral imperative of fixing our immigration laws. The Christian leaders shared their concerns about the impact our current immigration system is having on families throughout their congregations and offered prayers that we as a nation can work together to achieve comprehensive reform.
The broad range of groups in favor of immigration reform, from business and labor to law enforcement and faith, represents a remarkable level of consensus in Washington and across the nation. Let’s seize this opportunity and work across the aisle to fix our broken immigration system.
Julie Chavez Rodriguez Deputy Director White House | Office of Public Engagement
CBP’s Global Entry Program Achieves Milestone November 13, 2013 U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that one million people have been given the designation of a ‘trusted traveler’ through the Global Entry program. The program, which was launched five years ago, provides arriving travelers with a quicker, more efficient and more secure entry process into the United States.
Serving Veterans Across DHS November 8, 2013 As we take time on Monday to thank our nation’s veterans for their service and sacrifices, we also recognize the veterans who continue to serve here at home, including across the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). As a veteran himself, Rand Beers is proud that DHS employs more than 54,000 veterans who make up almost 28 percent of DHS’ total workforce, in addition to the more than 43,000 active duty U.S. Coast Guardsmen and women he is honored to call his colleagues.
USCIS Honors Military Veterans During Naturalization Ceremonies November 8, 2013 In recognition of Veterans Day, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will conduct naturalization ceremonies across the country that will feature military members, military spouses and veterans taking the Oath of Allegiance to become U.S. citizens. From Nov. 7-13, USCIS is welcoming approximately 8,000 new U.S. citizens during 120 naturalization ceremonies throughout the nation and overseas.
DHS Privacy Office Issues Annual Report Summarizing Its Accomplishments November 7, 2013 Over the past nine years, the Privacy Office has worked to create an environment at DHS where neither privacy nor security are compromised, but rather merged in a manner that keeps the country safe and honors the principles on which the country was founded. As a result, privacy is now firmly embedded into the lifecycle of DHS programs and systems to inform Departmental policy, and to ensure effective privacy protections.
DHS and Western Union Announce New Alliance to Combat Human Trafficking November 6, 2013 The Department of Homeland Security announced a new alliance between the DHS Blue Campaign— the unified voice for DHS’ efforts to combat human trafficking— and Western Union. Through this alliance, Western Union will provide the Blue Campaign’s multilingual training and awareness materials to select agent locations across the country. Participating agents will also receive additional training from Western Union on how to identify and recognize indicators of human trafficking, as well as how to report suspected cases of human trafficking.
USCIS: Temporary Protected Status Extended for Somalis November 6, 2013 Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Rand Beers has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of Somalia for an additional 18 months, effective March 18, 2014, through Sept. 17, 2015. Current Somali beneficiaries seeking to extend their TPS status must re-register during a 60-day period that runs from Nov. 1, 2013, through Dec. 31, 2013.
Honoring the Legacy of Immigrants Serving in the Armed Forces November 11, 2013 The success of our military, and indeed, our nation as a whole, is rooted in the dynamism, courage and sacrifice demonstrated by generations of immigrants who have answered the call of duty.
Weekly Wrap Up: “You Can Make it Here if You Try” November 8, 2013 Weekly Wrap Up: Remarks on the Economy, Affordable Health Care for Texans, Business Leaders and Immigration Reform, Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks, White House Tours Resume, Celebrating Diwali, and “Careers in Film Symposium.”
The Time is Now: President Obama Meets with Business Leaders on Immigration Reform November 5, 2013 In a meeting with the President and Vice President at the White House, a group of top U.S. business leaders discuss the importance of commonsense immigration reform to bolster U.S. economic growth, and improve the climate for business and job creation.
Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Survivors Can’t Afford to Wait November 5, 2013 Domestic Violence Awareness Month has come to a close, but the White House wants to make sure immigrant survivors are not forgotten by shedding light on the important ways in which sensible immigration reform that has already passed the Senate will protect victims and hold abusers accountable.
Once Undocumented, Now an Immigrant Advocate October 31, 2013 As a first-generation American whose own family emigrated from the Philippines, Victor Diaz Zapanta always relishes the opportunity to hear personal stories of immigration. As Filipino American History Month comes to a close, he shares a story from Angelo Mathay, a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) law fellow at the National Immigration Law Center.
Combating Domestic Violence and Other Forms of Violence Against Women October 31, 2013 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approved the statutory maximum 10,000 petitions for U nonimmigrant status (U visas) for immigrant victims of crime, including domestic violence, for the fourth straight year since it began issuing U visas in 2008.
USCIS Invitation: Immigration 101 Webinar U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) invites you to participate in an online meeting to discuss green cards and visas.
When: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 1 PM (Pacific) Where: Online webinar To RSVP: Join online meeting room 15 minutes before the event.
WHIEEH Webinar on Immigrant Integration White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics invites you to participate in a webinar on immigrant integration. How do local communities and cities assist immigrant communities in effectively integration in new communities? Join us to learn how the U.S. Department of Education in partnering to create networks for effective immigrant integration.
When: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at 2 PM (Eastern) Where: Online webinar To RSVP: To RSVP for the webinar, email WHIEEH@ed.gov with the subject line: “Immigrant Integration Webinar” and please provide your name and organization. You must RSVP in order to receive the presentation materials that will be reviewed during the call.
USCIS Invitation: Implementation of ABT Settlement Agreement Teleconference U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) invites you to participate in a teleconference on Thursday, November 21, 2013, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Eastern to discuss the implementation of the ABT Settlement Agreement. During this engagement, officials from USCIS and EOIR will be available to discuss the implementation of the settlement agreement and answer questions
When: Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 1 PM (Eastern) Where: Online teleconference To RSVP: You are encouraged to submit questions and agenda items before the teleconference. You may do so on the event registration page or by emailing us at Public.Engagement@uscis.dhs.gov.