The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 27, 2006

Fact Sheet: Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Securing Our Border, Enforcing Our Laws, and Upholding Our Values

     Fact sheet In Focus: Immigration
     Fact sheet en Español

Today, President Bush Attended A Naturalization Ceremony And Discussed His Vision For Comprehensive Immigration Reform. The President supports comprehensive immigration reform to secure our border, improve enforcement of our laws, and uphold our values. The President also discussed his proposal for a temporary worker program that rejects amnesty, allows foreign workers to fill jobs no American is willing to do, and reduces smuggling and crime at the border.

The President Welcomes A Civil And Dignified Debate On Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Congress is now considering immigration reform proposals. Immigration is an emotional topic, and we need to maintain our perspective as we conduct this debate.

To Keep The Promise Of America, We Must Enforce The Laws Of America

President Bush's Proposal For Comprehensive Immigration Reform Includes Three Critical Elements - Securing The Border, Strengthening Enforcement Inside The Country, And Creating A Temporary Worker Program. These elements depend on and reinforce one another. Together, they will give America an immigration system that meets 21st century demands.

The First Element Is Securing Our Border. Since President Bush took office, funding for border security has increased by 66 percent. The Border Patrol has been expanded to more than 12,000 agents, an increase of more than 2,700 agents, or nearly 30 percent. The President's FY07 budget funds another 1,500 new agents. Agents are being provided with cutting-edge technology like infrared cameras, advanced motion sensors, and unmanned aerial vehicles. Protective infrastructure, such as vehicle barriers and fencing in urban areas, is being installed. Manpower, technology, and infrastructure are being integrated in more unified ways than ever before.

The Second Element Is Strengthening Enforcement Of Our Laws In The Interior Of Our Country. Since President Bush took office, funding for immigration enforcement has increased by 42 percent. These resources have helped agents bring to justice smugglers, terrorists, gang members, and human traffickers. For example, through Operation Community Shield, Federal agents have arrested nearly 2,300 gang members who were in America illegally, including violent criminals like the members of the "MS-13" gang.

The Third Element Is Creating A New Temporary Worker Program That Would Not Provide Amnesty. A temporary worker program would make the system more rational, orderly, and secure by providing a legal way to match willing foreign workers with willing American employers to fill jobs that no American is willing to do. Workers would be able to register for legal status on a temporary basis. If workers decided to apply for citizenship, they would have to get in line. This program would help meet the demands of our growing economy and allow honest workers to provide for their families while respecting the law.

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