What’s wrong with this letter?
Thank you for writing. I have heard from many Americans who are concerned about immigration, and I appreciate your perspective.
Americans are frustrated with our Nation’s broken immigration system, and I share that frustration. We need an immigration system that is fair and helps grow the middle class by ensuring everyone plays by the same rules. That is why I have proposed a commonsense plan that would continue to strengthen our borders; crack down on employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers; create a path to earned citizenship for immigrants here illegally that requires them to pay taxes, learn English, and pay a fine; and streamline the legal immigration system so America can continue to be a magnet for the best and the brightest from around the world. That is how we can reaffirm our heritage as both a Nation of immigrants and a Nation of laws.
To make these fixes, we need Congress to act—and I remain deeply committed to working in a bipartisan way to enact commonsense immigration reform. But until they take action, my Administration will continue to do everything we can to strengthen our borders and enforce the law.
Since I took office, we have invested an unprecedented amount of resources, technology, and manpower to secure our borders. Our efforts are producing real results. Today, our Southern border is more secure than ever, with more law enforcement personnel than at any time in American history—and there are fewer illegal crossings now than at any time in the past 40 years. Crime rates along the border are down, and we have seized more illegal guns, cash, and drugs than in years past. In addition to doing what is necessary to secure our borders, my Administration is implementing a smart, effective immigration enforcement policy that includes taking action against employers who knowingly exploit people and break the law.
Smarter enforcement also includes focusing our resources on high-priority individuals who threaten our national security or pose a threat to the safety of American communities, and not on young people who were brought to this country as children through no fault of their own. On June 15, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security announced it would allow eligible young people who do not present a risk to our national security or public safety to apply for temporary relief from deportation proceedings and apply for work authorization. This is not a path to citizenship, and it is not a permanent fix—only Congress can provide that. It is a temporary measure to allow us to focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, and patriotic young people who are American in every way but on paper.
My Administration has also worked to strengthen, streamline, and update our legal immigration system through administrative reforms—making it easier for employers, immigrants, and families to navigate the system. Through the innovative “Entrepreneurs in Residence” initiative, we are gaining insight into business realities and streamlining existing pathways for highly skilled, foreign-born entrepreneurs to create businesses and jobs in our country. In 2012, I issued an Executive Order to make it easier and safer for international travelers to visit America, and to create a national strategy to better reap the economic benefits of travel and tourism. We have worked to support family unity by providing a provisional waiver for certain American families to reduce the length of time United States citizens are separated from their loved ones during the immigrant visa application process. We have also reduced barriers to citizenship by creating tools to help applicants through the naturalization process.
By creating a 21st-century immigration system that is true to our principles, our Nation will remain a land of opportunity, prosperity, and freedom for all. To learn more about my Administration’s plan for immigration reform, please visit http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/Immigration. For additional information and resources on current immigration and enforcement efforts, I encourage you to visit http://www.DHS.gov or call 1-800-375-5283.
Thank you, again, for writing.
I thought we were experiencing a humanitarian crisis on the border. Wow, was I misinformed or what? Thank you Barack Obama for setting things straight for me. I will be calling DHS at the number you provided to correct them on the current status of our border. Someone should definitely be fired over the current political “chatter” that is stating otherwise!