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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement by the President on the 50th Anniversary of the Immigration and Nationality Act

Fifty years ago, at the foot of the Statute of Liberty, President Johnson signed the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).  The new, bipartisan law ended an unfair quota system, prohibited discrimination based on country of origin, and officially recognized our immigration system's role in reuniting families and attracting skilled workers, all of whom help fuel our economy. The Republicans and Democrats who came together to pass the INA were driven by a desire to expand opportunity for all, and to live up to our heritage as a nation of immigrants.  They understood that immigration contributes to our economic growth by allowing hard-working, entrepreneurial individuals from around the world to pursue the American dream.  

As we mark the 50th anniversary of this transformational law, we honor the courage of those who fought to make our system better.  We celebrate the generations of immigrants who have shaped this country and helped make America great.  And we recommit ourselves to fighting for commonsense, comprehensive immigration reform legislation that meets the needs of the 21st century, grows the economy for everybody, and lives up to our highest ideals.