Our immigration system has been broken for decades. That is why President Biden and I have spent the last three years putting forward solutions to fix it and address the root causes of migration.
On the first day of our Administration, we sent a comprehensive immigration reform bill to Congress that included an increase in funding for border security and a pathway to citizenship for immigrants, such as Dreamers who have been here for years.
We have partnered with countries in the Western Hemisphere to address global pressures that are forcing people from their homes, and worked with the private sector to promote investment in Central America. Last October, as part of our national security supplemental request, we asked for $14 billion for border security, which would increase personnel and technology to secure the border and provide assistance to cities to manage the influx of migrants.
At each step, we have been clear: Congress must act. Unfortunately, we have too often been met with those who sought to play political games instead of participating in solutions.
For the past two months, President Biden, members of our Administration, and bipartisan Senate negotiators have worked together. Thanks to their collaboration, additional solutions are now at hand. Congress must quickly pass this agreement.
This package will also ensure that the United States can continue to fulfill its role of global leadership by supporting the people of Ukraine in their brave fight against unprovoked Russian aggression; providing Israel what it needs to defend itself against Hamas terrorists; ensuring life-saving humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people; and strengthening our allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific.
This agreement on border security and immigration does not include everything we have fought for over the past three years — and we will continue to fight for these priorities – but it shows: we can make the border more secure while preserving legal immigration, consistent with our values as a nation.
Let us remember: we are a nation of immigrants. Immigrants have always helped strengthen our country, grow our economy, and drive innovation. We know that in America, diversity is our strength. So rather than politicize this issue, let us all address it with the urgency and seriousness it requires.