Extending hope and opportunity in our country requires an immigration system worthy of America - with laws that are fair and borders that are secure. When laws and borders are routinely violated, this harms the interests of our country. To secure our border, we are doubling the size of the Border Patrol - and funding new infrastructure and technology.
Yet even with all these steps, we cannot fully secure the border unless we take pressure off the border - and that requires a temporary worker program. We should establish a legal and orderly path for foreign workers to enter our country to work on a temporary basis. As a result, they won't have to try to sneak in - and that will leave border agents free to chase down drug smugglers, and criminals, and terrorists. We will enforce our immigration laws at the worksite, and give employers the tools to verify the legal status of their workers - so there is no excuse left for violating the law.
We need to uphold the great tradition of the melting pot that welcomes and assimilates new arrivals. And we need to resolve the status of the illegal immigrants who are already in our country - without animosity and without amnesty.
Convictions run deep in this Capitol when it comes to immigration. Let us have a serious, civil, and conclusive debate - so that you can pass, and I can sign, comprehensive immigration reform into law...
For the full text of the State of the Union speech click HERE.