As the Nation celebrated Thanksgiving with loved ones, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama took time to pray in solidarity with the brave “Fast for Families” fasters on the National Mall. Since November 12, these individuals abstained from all food except water in an effort to bring attention to the urgent need for commonsense, comprehensive immigration reform. The President and First Lady offered their support to the fasters’ fight for family unity and expressed their gratitude to Eliseo Medina, Dae Joong Yoon and others for their great sacrifice.
Though the fasters’ bodies were weak, their message remained clear: now is the time for the House to act on immigration reform. On December 3, the four leaders broke their 22 day fast and passed on their mission to seven new fasters, including Rep. Joe Kennedy and Jim Wallis of Sojourners, at an event attended by Secretary of Labor Tom Perez. The Administration thanks all of the fasters past and present for their dedication and leadership in the effort to fix our broken immigration system.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama visits with a group staging a public fast for immigration on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., Nov. 29, 2013. “Fast for Families” is seeking to pressure Congress into passing an immigration bill. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Earlier in the week, the President spoke at the Betty Ong Recreation Center in San Francisco’s Chinatown and reaffirmed his commitment to reforming our immigration laws. San Francisco’s economy is one of the fastest growing in the country, and 35 percent of its local business owners are immigrants. The President noted that this country’s success is rooted in the hard-work ethic and innovation demonstrated by generations of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. In his remarks he shared the triumphant story of Andrew Ly, a Vietnamese-American:
Andrew grew up in Vietnam, and he and his four brothers tried three times to flee to the United States….On the fourth try, their boat – filled with 140 refugees…was attacked by pirates. But the Lys and their family eventually made it to Malaysia, and then they eventually made it here to San Francisco. And they learned English, and they worked as handymen, and they worked as seamstresses. And eventually, Andrew and his brothers earned enough money to buy a small bakery. And they started making donuts, and they started selling them to Chinese restaurants. And with a lot of hard work and a little luck, the Sugar Bowl Bakery today is a $60 million business.
President Barack Obama delivers remarks on immigration, at the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center in San Francisco, Calif., Nov. 25, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
From the shores of California to the steps of the Capitol, your voices are being heard. Let’s continue to organize across the country to pass commonsense immigration reform so that the promise of this country endures for future generations.
Julie Chavez Rodriguez Deputy Director White House | Office of Public Engagement
Remarks by Ambassador Samantha Power at a Naturalization Ceremony in Brooklyn, NY December 4, 2013 Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, delivered remarks at a naturalization ceremony at the Eastern District Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn, NY.
November is National Adoption Month: A Dedicated Mother Brings Home Adopted Children After Years of Struggle November 29, 2013 USCIS shares the story of Christina Watson. Christina knew she wanted to be a mom to a child who didn’t have a parent. Her friends had adopted from Guatemala and told Christina about their wonderful experience and the country’s great need for adoptive parents. Christina contacted the adoption agency and was matched with her son Jake in Guatemala. While there in 2008, she had to go through a number of bureaucratic hurdles, which kept her in country for three months. In that time, she also met her future daughter, Mariela.
DHS and International Education: A Year in Review November 22, 2013 The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) joined our many partners across government, academia, and the private sector in observing the 14th annual International Education Week to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. DHS plays an important role in welcoming international students to the United States, and remains committed to ensuring America remains a destination of choice for students from around the world.
The Executive Office For Immigration Review Reminds Attorneys and Fully Accredited Representatives to Complete eRegistry Process November 21, 2013 This notice serves as a reminder to all attorneys and fully accredited representatives who practice before the immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) to complete steps one and two of the eRegistry process by Dec. 10, 2013. On that date, registration becomes a requirement to appear before EOIR. Complete details on eRegistry are available here.
Gathering in the Spirit of Unity: The President and First Lady Visit Those Fasting for Immigration Reform November 29, 2013 The President and the First Lady visited the brave individuals who are fasting in the shadow of the Capitol, sacrificing their health in an effort to get Congress to act swiftly on commonsense immigration reform.
Why Immigration Reform Matters to the AAPI Community November 26, 2013 President Obama spoke to community members at the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center in San Francisco’s Chinatown, calling for the urgent need to pass commonsense immigration reform.
No Matter Where You Come From, America Is a Place Where You Can Make It If You Try November 25, 2013 President Obama says that he is committed to fixing our broken immigration system to make sure we continue welcoming striving, hardworking immigrants who see America the same way many of our ancestors did when they came here generations ago – as a country where no matter who you are or what you look like or where you come from, you can make it if you try.
Time for Commonsense Immigration Reform November 25, 2013 San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee explains why now is the time for commonsense immigration reform.
White House Welcomes New American Leaders November 25, 2013 In November, the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs hosted officials from the New American Leaders Project to discuss immigration, education and healthcare.
Who: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) What: Opportunity to discuss the upcoming release of new and revised Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) for E-Verify users. When: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 from 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM (Eastern) Where: Stakeholder teleconference To RSVP: Register here.
Who: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) What: Opportunity to discuss the various relief options available to victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, and other serious crimes. When: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 from 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM (Eastern) Where: Webinar To RSVP: Access meeting room here.
A Conversation with USCIS U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services invites you to a free, nationwide Spanish-language event.
Who: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) What: Our representatives will share agency updates, discuss immigration-related topics and be available to answer your questions. When: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 from 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM (Eastern) Where: Teleconference (1-888-790-1962, Password: Enlace) or live web stream here. To RSVP: Submit your questions in advance via Twitter to @USCIS_es or during the event via email at OPE-Live@uscis.dhs.gov.