Office of Public Engagement

Immigration, Mortgage Relief, and the Medal of Freedom: Deputies' Download

President Obama Delivers Remarks on Immigration

President Barack Obama delivers remarks in the Rose Garden of the White House (June 15, 2012)

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the Department of Homeland Security’s immigration announcement in the Rose Garden of the White House, June 15, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)

Speaking from the Rose Garden, President Obama addressed a new policy from the Department of Homeland Security aimed at making the nation’s immigration policy more fair and more efficient -- by removing the threat of deportation for young people who are low enforcement priorities.

He said: “And as long as I’m President, I will not give up on this issue, not only because it’s the right thing to do for our economy -- and CEOs agree with me -- not just because it’s the right thing to do for our security, but because it’s the right thing to do, period.”

This announcement reaffirms President Obama’s commitment to smart and sensible immigration policies that prioritize immigration enforcement toward individuals who pose a threat to public safety. As the President has said many times, it makes no sense to remove productive young people to countries where they may not have lived or even speak the language. They have become productive members in our communities. They have grown up swearing allegiance to our flag. Yet they live in the shadows of America, without the possibility to realize their dreams.

Americans Speak Out in Favor of Mortgage Relief

President Obama believes that homeowners need help. He’s been traveling all over the country urging Congress to take up his plan that would make it easier for millions of responsible homeowners around the country to refinance their mortgages and save hundreds of dollars each month. Cutting through the red tape will be good for families, good for communities and good for the national economy.

And we've been listening as people from around the country share their thoughts about why mortgage relief is such a big deal.Speak out beside President Obama. Tell us why you support refinancing, and we'll make sure your story resonates here in Washington and around the country.

President Obama Honors Israeli President Shimon Peres

President Obama presents the Medal of Freedom to President Shimon Peres of Israel (June 13, 2012)

President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to President Shimon Peres of Israel during a ceremony and dinner in the East Room of the White House, June 13, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

In a ceremony at the White House last week, President Obama awarded the Medal of Freedom to Shimon Peres, the President of Israel. “The man, the life that we honor tonight is nothing short of extraordinary,” President Obama said.

President Peres joins an illustrious group of world leaders -- including Margaret Thatcher, Nelson Mandela, and Vaclav Havel -- who previously been presented with the medal. Click here to watch the video of the ceremony.

Honoring Fathers

Last Wednesday, President Obama celebrated Father’s Day a little early with four dads – two active duty members of the military and two long-time local barbers from Mason’s Barbershop. They talked about the rewards and challenges of fatherhood as well as the joy and anxiety fathers experience watching their children grow up.

Blog Highlights

White House Champions of Change Program

On Wednesday, The White House Office of Public Engagement and Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships honored 10 individuals who are doing tremendous work in the fields of fatherhood and low-income men and boys as “Father’s Day” Champions of Change.

The Champions of Change series spotlights everyday heroes who are demonstrating a commitment to improving their own communities, their country, or the lives of their fellow citizens. We are looking for you to nominate someone who is doing extraordinary things to make a difference in your community as a “Champion of Change.”

Get Involved

Interest rates on new subsidized student loans are scheduled to double on July 1. If Congress doesn’t act to prevent this, more than 7 million students around the country will rack up an average of $1,000 of extra debt. President Obama knows that’s not acceptable. Raise your voice and reach out to your networks if you agree that student loan rates should not double on July 1. On Twitter and Google+, use the hashtag #DontDoubleMyRate; on Facebook, update your status and profile image. Learn more about the President’s proposal and read about the impact higher interest rates would have on the AAPI, Native American, Hispanic, and African American communities.

Get Updates

For more information, visit the White House Office of Public Engagement website and blog. Be sure to participate in the online conversation by following @JonCarson44.

We welcome your thoughts and feedback at public@who.eop.gov

Anne Filipic and Stephanie Valencia are Deputy Directors in the Office of Public Engagement.

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