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The White House
For Immediate Release

WHITE HOUSE VIDEO MESSAGE: The President’s Executive Action on Immigration


Office of the Press Secretary

EMBARGOED UNTIL 6:00 AM ET, SATURDAY, November 22, 2014

WEEKLY ADDRESS: The President’s Executive Action on Immigration

WASHINGTON, DC — In this week’s address, Chief of Staff Denis McDonough laid out the steps the President 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 common sense 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.

The audio of the address and video of the message will be available online HERE.

Remarks of Denis McDonough, White House Chief of Staff

Spanish Weekly Address

The White House

November 22, 2014

Hi everybody.  I’m Denis McDonough, White House Chief of Staff. America prides itself on being a nation of immigrants.  It has always given us a big advantage over other nations.  It keeps our country young, dynamic, and entrepreneurial.  But today, our immigration system is broken, and everybody knows it. And Republicans in Congress have repeatedly failed to pass legislation to address the issue. That’s why the President took executive actions within the scope of his legal authority to help make our immigration system fairer and more just.

Because of the President’s action we’re providing more resources at the border to help law enforcement personnel stop unauthorized crossings, and send home those who do cross over.  We’ll focus enforcement resources on people who are threats to our security – felons, not families; criminals, not children.  And we’ll bring more undocumented immigrants out of the shadows so they can play by the rules, and get right with the law. 

Nothing about this action will benefit anyone who has come to this country recently, or who might try and come to America illegally in the future.  It does not grant citizenship, or the right to stay here permanently.  The President’s executive actions provide temporary relief to millions of undocumented immigrants living in our country and reflect who we are as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.

For far too long, this debate has been mired down in partisan politics. But this is an issue that is important for our future.  It goes to the very core of who and what we are as a nation and the future we want to build. And the President looks forward to working with Congress to pass legislation to comprehensively address the issue.

We are only here because this country welcomed our forebears, like my own, who migrated from Ireland and taught them that being American is about more than what we look like or where we come from.  What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal – that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the opportunity to make of our lives what we will.  That’s the country we inherited, and it’s the one we have to leave for future generations.

Thank you, God bless you, and have a great weekend.