The White House Blog: The President

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

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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.


  • 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


  • President Obama Honors America’s Top Scientists and Engineers, Launches New Steps to Cultivate Tomorrow’s Innovators

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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.


  • President Obama Signs the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act

    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."


  • More than 1,200 School Superintendents Take the Future Ready District Pledge

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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.


  • Tune In: The President Addresses the Nation on Immigration Reform

    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.


  • This Day in History: Seven Score and 11 Years Ago...

    This Day
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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.


  • President Obama Holds a Meeting on Ebola, Discusses Attacks in Jerusalem

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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.


  • The President Wraps Up Trip in Burma, Heads to Australia

    President Obama Walks Toward Air Force One in Burma

    President Barack Obama walks towards Air Force One past honor guards and a group of representatives from Burmese ethnic groups before departing from Naypyitaw International Airport in Burma. November 14, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    President Obama has spent the week traveling in China, Burma, and Australia to help further the U.S. rebalancing strategy and his firm belief that our economic ties to the Asia Pacific region are integral to America's economic growth.

    After securing a historic agreement with China to reduce carbon pollution, the President traveled to Naypyitaw and Rangoon, Burma for the East Asia Summit, the U.S.-ASEAN Summit, and for a bilateral meeting with Burmese President Thein Sein. 

    Two years ago, President Obama became the first American president to visit this country. On this visit, both Presidents discussed the progress that Burma has made in the pursuit of a more open democracy and the work that's left to do: 


  • Welcoming the G20's Commitment to Stop Ebola and Strengthen Global Health Security

    We have consistently said that Ebola is an urgent global challenge requiring an urgent and commensurate global response.  Earlier today, Leaders of the G20—a collection of the world’s largest economies—answered that call from their ongoing summit in Brisbane, Australia. They committed to continued and intensified action to end the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and pledged to assist others to achieve needed health security capacity to prevent, detect and rapidly respond to future outbreaks before they become epidemics.

    The communique commends the extraordinary international commitments and cooperation toward the Ebola response to-date, while urging countries around the globe—as well as international organizations and the private sector—to do their part. The statement also goes one step farther to achieve global implementation of the World Health Organization International Health Regulations, which over 40 countries and 17 G-20 members have now pledged to accelerate through the Global Health Security Agenda.