KLTV 7'S Taylor Hemness took part in a White House conference call on Monday afternoon, previewing President Obama's speech that's scheduled for Tuesday in El Paso. Senior administration officials, from both the Department of Homeland Security and the National Economic Council, offered thoughts on what President Obama will say.
*In his speech, President Obama will be releasing a blueprint of what his immigration policy is, and press for legislative action, but will not lay a deadline for action to happen.
*The President is attempting to elevate the debate on immigration reform, by trying to get more voices involved.
*The President is also committed to solving the immigration reform through legislation, and is encouraging more elected officials to meet with constituents. Roundtables and community events are scheduled with elected officials and cabinet members over the coming months.
*According to senior administration officials, President Obama has put more resources into border security than ever before, including increases in manpower for several agencies, and officials say the effort is working.
*Of the 652 miles of fence mandated by Congress, 649 miles have been constructed.
*On the topic of deportation, administration officials say Congress has not approved enough money to go after every illegal immigrant living in the United States. The administration is focused on removing illegal immigrants with criminal histories, those that are fugitives, those that are caught trying to come across the border illegally, and employers that are making money by employing illegal immigrants.
*The administration's position is that comprehensive immigration reform is good for not only national security, but also the economy. In addition to reducing the deficit, studies show that immigration also creates jobs.
*Administration officials say helping immigrants become tax-payers is better than the status quo.
*The President's position is that it makes little sense to train people to be job creators and contributors to the economy, then see them leave to take those skills outside the country.
*The number of National Guardsmen stationed at the border will stay at the current level.
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