The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 3, 2006

Fact Sheet: Operation Jump Start: Acting Now to Secure the Border

      President Bush Discusses Comprehensive Immigration Reform in Texas
      In Focus: Immigration

Today, President Bush Toured The Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector And Discussed The Need For Comprehensive Immigration Reform. The President has called on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform that will secure our borders, enhance worksite enforcement, create a temporary worker program, resolve the status of illegal immigrants already here, and promote assimilation into our society, including by learning English.

The Administration Is Taking Action To Secure Our Border And Deter Illegal Immigration

Under Operation Jump Start, About 6,000 National Guard Members Have Deployed To Help The Border Patrol Secure The Southern Border. In May, the President pledged that we would have up to 6,000 National Guard members in Southern Border States. Today, the President announced that we have met that pledge.

We Are Deterring Illegal Immigration By Addressing The Problem Of "Catch And Release" At The Southern Border. For years, the government did not have enough detention space to hold all the illegal immigrants we catch at the border. Many were given a court date and released into society.  When the court date arrived, many did not show up. The practice of "catch and release" is unacceptable, and the Administration is working to end it on the Southern border.

Since The President Took Office In 2001, We Have Increased Funding For Border Security By 66 Percent To More Than $7.6 Billion, Equipped The Border Patrol With Better Technology, Built New Infrastructure, And Expanded The Border Patrol From About 9,000 To About 12,000 Agents. Since 2001, Federal agents have used these resources to apprehend and send home more than 6 million people entering America illegally. Earlier this summer, the President signed an emergency spending bill that provided an additional $1.9 billion in immediate funding for border security.

President Bush Has Called On Congress To Fund Increases In Manpower And Technology That Will Help The Border Patrol Build On Its Success And Gain Full Control Of The Border. Under the President's proposal, we will increase the size of the Border Patrol by an additional 6,000 agents, to a total of about 18,000. In addition, we will build high-tech fences in urban corridors, and new patrol roads and barriers in rural areas.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Must Address All Aspects Of Our Broken Immigration System

The President Has Called On Congress To Send Him A Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill That He Can Sign Into Law. Our Nation can have an immigration policy that is both rational and compassionate. Both the House and Senate have passed bills. The President calls on Congress to resolve its differences and send him a comprehensive immigration reform bill that he can sign into law.

In Addition To Securing The Border, Comprehensive Immigration Reform Must:

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