2:35 P.M. EDT
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, hello, Auburn. (Applause.)
Thank you, Jason Curtis, for that kind introduction. It’s an honor to be with you and a lot of great, hardworking Americans who are proving every day, here at Nucor Steel Auburn that steel is back in America. (Applause.)
I’m grateful for the warm welcome and grateful for the opportunity to share a few moments with all of you to talk about the progress that we’re making as a country.
I’m also grateful to be joined today by a great partner for prosperity here in the state in New York and in Auburn, and a great, great champion of American steel, Congressman John Katko. Thank you, congressman. (Applause.)
But let me begin today by bringing greetings — bringing greetings from a great champion of American steel and a proud New Yorker. I bring greetings from the 45th President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump. (Applause.)
And before I begin, let me take a moment — let me take a moment to address an issue that is, I know, much on the minds of people across this country today, the ongoing crisis of illegal immigration at our southern border. The President spoke about it earlier today and I wanted to address it as I was gathered with you, my fellow Americans, here in Auburn.
Make no mistake about it: The crisis of illegal immigration at our southern border is a direct result of the failed immigration policies — policies that have failed to secure our border — and a result of crippling loopholes in our immigration laws that too often induce vulnerable families to make a long and dangerous journey up the peninsula to attempt to illegally enter this country, resulting in a loss of their liberty and sometimes — and sometimes worse.
As the President said today, “We want to solve this problem.” We “don’t want children taken away from their parents.”
The truth is, our weak immigration laws have had dire consequences. As the President said today, the loopholes in our immigration laws today have caused roughly half a million illegal immigrants from Central America to be released into our country since 2014, impacting American communities, American families, and American jobs.
It is tragic that these failed immigration policies have created this incentive for vulnerable families and literally put vulnerable adults and children in danger. This is simply unacceptable, and I want to assure my fellow Americans gathered here today that that’s the case. It’s unacceptable to this administration and unacceptable to the American people.
But as the President explained today, under current law we only have one of two options. To respond to this crisis of illegal immigration, “We can either release all illegal immigrant families, including minors who show up” at our southern border, or we can prosecute “adults for the federal crime of illegal entry.” Neither of these options solve the problem that we face today. And that’s why President Trump, again today called on the Congress to pass immigration reform and to pass immigration right away. (Applause.)
Working with members of Congress — this week Congress will consider legislation that will build a wall, secure our border, close loopholes, and enact the kind of reforms that give us the legal authority to detain and remove families together. And this legislation would also allow us to permanently resolve the issues surrounding individuals who are brought into this country over many years through no fault of their own.
Congress will take up that legislation this week. And I want to personally thank Congressman John Katko for taking the principles that President Trump articulated in his State of the Union Address and helping to enwrap them into legislation. Congressman Katko, thank you for working on this issue in a principled and a compassionate way. (Applause.)
I just want to promise all of you, as the headlines continue to unfurl over the coming days, President Trump and I are going to continue to work tirelessly with your Congressman and with members of Congress to close these crippling loopholes in our immigration laws, to build a wall to secure our border, and to solve the crisis of illegal immigration once and for all. (Applause.)
Now, again, it’s an honor to be here at Nucor Steel Auburn, and particularly to see the extraordinary new rolling mill that just opened in the last year.
As President Trump said, steel workers are the backbone of America. And he knows what he’s talking about because the hardworking men and women of Cayuga County elected a builder to be President of the United States of America. (Applause.) This President loves men and women who know how to make things.
And on behalf of that builder, I’m here today at the largest steel producer in the country simply to say thank you. Thank you to each and every one of you who make Nucor Steel a success here in Auburn and all those you represent in this great company around America.
It’s amazing to think, for almost a half a century, Nucor has been a key part of why the steel in America is the best steel in the world. In fact, I’m told that some of the greatest buildings in this country, including One World Trade Center and Yankee Stadium in New York City, were all built with Nucor steel.
Since 1974, this mill in Auburn has led the way in producing world-class rebar. And as your recent expansion demonstrates, under President Trump, we are forging a new American future built on American steel. (Applause.)
Truth is, this mill is actually a powerful symbol — a powerful symbol of an American comeback not just in steel, but in every area of our economy. Since the first day of this administration, President Trump and I have been working tirelessly to keep the promises that he made to the American people. We’ve rolled back federal red tape. We’ve unleashed American energy. I don’t know if you noticed it, but last year, as the President was approving the Keystone and Dakota pipelines, he also signed an executive order requiring all new energy pipelines be built with American steel. (Applause.)
The President has also been fighting every day for the kind of fair deals for trade that put American jobs and American workers first.
As the President has said, “If you don’t have steel, you don’t have a country.” And what this President and I both understand, that to have a strong and secure America, America needs steel to be strong. We didn’t build those battleships with plastic. We’re going to make sure that American steel is there now and for generations to come for a stronger and more secure America. (Applause.)
And beyond steel and aluminum, the President has also made it clear that we’re going to keep fighting for other areas of this economy here in upstate New York, particularly when it comes to dairy farmers.
New York’s dairy farmers are the best in the world, and President Trump is fighting for the kind of free and fair trade deal with Canada that puts American dairy farmers first. And we’re going to keep fighting. (Applause.)
You know, the truth is, for too long Canada’s price manipulations have been impacting dairy farmers here in upstate New York. And I can assure you the President is going to continue to use all the tools at his disposal to negotiate deals that will ensure the ongoing prosperity of our dairy farmers.
And just before Christmas, I hope you all noticed — just a few days before Christmas, the President kept one of his signature promises to the American people when he signed the largest tax cuts and tax reform in American history. (Applause.)
Well, we know once these tax cuts take full effect the average working family of four in Central New York is going to save more than $2,400 a year in taxes.
But we also cut taxes on businesses, like Nucor Steel, so that companies here in America can compete and win against companies anywhere in the world.
I specifically want to thank your Congressman, John Katko, one more time, who took a strong and courageous stand for working families here in New York, for businesses large and small in New York. Thank you, Congressman Katko, for supporting tax cuts to make this state and country great again. (Applause.)
I also, lastly, just want to thank Nucor Steel for the example that this company is setting in support of the pro-growth policies that President Trump and I and our entire administration have been advancing with the strong support of leaders in Congress. The truth is, steel is back and Nucor Steel has proven that every day.
In fact, since Election Day 2016, I’m told Nucor has already announced over $2.1 billion in new investments to upgrade new equipment. Later this summer, you’re going to celebrate the one-year anniversary of that $30 million investment, that beautiful new rolling mill just behind me. And all these investments Nucor Steel is making are projected to create more than 745 good-paying jobs here and all across America. Let’s hear it for a company that’s investing in America. Thank you, Nucor. (Applause.)
But the truth is, this company is hardly alone. Since Election Day 2016, I’m proud to report that companies, large and small, have created 3.4 million new jobs all across this country, including 174,400 new jobs all across the state of New York.
Unemployment hasn’t been this low in nearly 50 years. And unemployment for women is at a 20-year low. And employment for African Americans and Hispanics has never been lower. Men and women, we’re bringing back the American Dream for every American. (Applause.)
But you know, for all that we’ve accomplished with the strong support of your congressman and other partners in Washington, D.C., for all that companies, like Nucor, have been able to do in the last year and a half, I can assure you that that New Yorker that I work with every day, that’s just what he calls a good start. And I want to promise you: We’re going to continue to work tirelessly — we’re going to continue to work tirelessly to support American steel and American jobs. We’ll continue to fight for an economy that’s growing, and prospering, and working for every American.
And as I leave here today, inspired by the example of all of you and by a company that is investing again in American jobs and in America’s future, I leave here with renewed confidence that with your continued support and example, and your hard work in this great company, with the strong support of leaders in Congress like Congressman John Katko, with President Donald Trump in the White House, and with God’s help, I just know in my heart that we will make America safe again. We will make America prosperous and strong again. And to borrow a phrase, we will make America great again.
Thank you, Nucor Steel. (Applause.) We’re proud of you. Keep up the great work, and God bless you all. Thank you very much.
2:49 P.M. EDT