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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 18, 2006
Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives
May 18, 2006
Dear Mr. Speaker:
On May 15th, I outlined to the Nation a comprehensive immigration reform initiative with five objectives. As part of my first objective to secure our Nation's borders, I ask the Congress to consider the enclosed requests for an additional $1.9 billion for the Departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security, which is in addition to supplemental funding requested on February 16th for the Global War on Terror and the consequences of Hurricane Katrina. This additional amount is offset by a $1.9 billion reduction in the amount requested on February 16th for the Department of Defense.
The revised request for the Department of Homeland Security will support my Administration's commitment to gain full control of the borders through the deployment of additional Border Patrol agents, infrastructure, and technology (such as hundreds of miles of new roads, vehicle barriers, tactical communications, and aerial surveillance).
The request for additional resources, coupled with additional legal authority from the Congress, will end the practice of catch and release along our southern border once and for all by increasing detention, transportation, and removal capabilities.
The revised request for the Department of Defense will support the deployment, in coordination with the Governors, of up to 6,000 National Guard members to the southern border. There, they will assist the Border Patrol by operating surveillance systems, building infrastructure, analyzing intelligence, and providing training until new Border Patrol agents and technologies come online. The request increases funding for training and other assistance for State and local authorities to support the Border Patrol on targeted enforcement missions. The request for the Department of Justice will provide additional resources for the prosecution and adjudication of illegal immigration cases.
I designate these proposals in the amounts requested herein as an emergency requirement. I urge the Congress to act expeditiously to address the security needs along the Nation's borders.
The details of these requests are set forth in the enclosed letter from the Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
GEORGE W. BUSH
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