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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.

  • 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.

  • The Weekly Wrap Up

    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:


  • 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:

  • 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:

  • 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!"

  • 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

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    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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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."

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    Earlier today, speaking to more than 100 school superintendents in the East Room of the White House, President Obama launched a new effort to assist school leaders in their transition to digital learning with the Future Ready Digital Pledge.

    The Future Ready Digital Pledge is part of the President’s ConnectED initiative, which empowers teachers with the best technology and the training to make the most of it, and empowers students through individualized learning and rich, digital content. ConnectED also seeks to connect 99 percent of America’s students with high-speed broadband internet in their schools and libraries.

  • President Obama Speaks at Del Sol High School

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks on immigration reform at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, NV. January 29, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    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.

  • Yesterday at the White House, Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz and I got to see American innovation in action, as Pacific Gas & Electric demonstrated their new plug-in hybrid bucket truck — a utility vehicle with emissions nearly 80% lower than a conventional truck.

    Not only does PG&E’s plug-in hybrid utility vehicle run cleaner, it provides up to 120 kW of exportable power — meaning that the trucks can actually be used to shorten or end power outages by plugging their reserves into the grid.

    This is the kind of innovation we need to take action on climate change — reducing emissions on the one hand and finding creative ways to boost community resilience on the other.

  • Ed. Note: This is a cross post from ED's Homeroom Blog. You can find the original post here.

    Our nation’s prosperity depends on individuals having the education and skills to obtain good jobs and progress along their career pathways, and employers finding workers with the skills to support their growth and the nation’s economic prosperity. How well we educate our citizens and help hard-working Americans in entry-level jobs gain the skills they need to advance in the workplace matters. Together, businesses, working with the nation’s public workforce system, can support our ability to transform low-wage and entry-level jobs into gateways to the middle class.

    Vice President Biden recently emphasized the importance of business engagement in his landmark report, Ready to Work: Job-Driven Training and American Opportunity. The report highlighted seven key elements within a new “Job-Driven Training Checklist.” This checklist will continue to make our federal education, workforce, and training programs more responsive to business needs and more focused on evidence-based practices. Engaging employers is one of the key elements on that checklist, and all federal agencies are being asked to integrate the element across grant programs in workforce education and training.

  • This Day
    jul
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    In History

    On November 19, 1863, speaking at the Gettysburg National Cemetery in Pennsylvania, President Abraham Lincoln gave one of his most iconic speeches -- the Gettysburg Address.


    What Was the Gettysburg Address All About?

    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. After the initial keynote speaker Edward Everett -- a popular orator at the time -- spoke for two hours, President Lincoln gave a two-minute speech highlighting the overarching purpose of the Civil War.

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    This morning, President Obama met with his national security and public health teams at the White House to discuss the latest news about Ebola and our ongoing response in West Africa.

  • On Monday, the It's On Us campaign kicked off its first-ever National Week of Action, an effort to mobilize students to take action to prevent sexual assault. This week, colleges and universities will host more than 130 events and over 40 schools have created their own It's On Us PSAs, including GWMITNorthwestern and UCLA.

    To kick off the week, Snapchat and It’s On Us teamed up to help spread the word on college campuses around the country. Snapchat users on more than 40 campuses saw a special PSA from It's On Us, which has been viewed more than 250,000 times in the app to date. Those students also have access to new geofilters, enabling them to share It’s On Us snaps with their friends. 

    Take a look at what students are sharing, and add It’s On Us on Snapchat for updates from the campaign to put an end to sexual assault. You can also follow It's On Us on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook.

     

    A video posted by Generation Progress (@genprogress) on

  • Small businesses are the engine of economic growth in America. Their strength is vital to creating new jobs and hiring more workers across our country. That is why President Obama launched the SupplierPay initiative, a new partnership with the private sector to support the health and vitality of small businesses by increasing their working capital.

    Here's how it works: On average, corporations take 46 days to pay their invoices of their suppliers -- small businesses that provide them services necessary for their business. Waiting an average of 46 days to get paid leaves small businesses without the capital they need to hire and invest in new opportunities or equipment. 

    Thanks to the SupplierPay initiative, companies are now committing to pay small businesses contractors faster. This way, small suppliers get the capital they need and larger companies benefit from higher-quality goods, more stable suppliers, and lower prices. 

    Twenty-six companies joined the President in the initial launch of SupplierPay, and yesterday, 21 companies signed on to the pledge -- including Xerox Corp., Hallmark Cards Inc., Kaiser Permanente, and Zappos.com, Inc. See a full list of the companies that are participating here.

    Take a look at what a few of the newest partners have to say about #SupplierPay: 

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