A History of Taking Action

Every president since President Eisenhower has taken action to address immigration issues. As a result, many more immigrants have come, stayed, and contributed to the strength of the United States. Since the founding of our nation, the strength America draws from generations of immigrants is a fact that’s woven deeply into the fabric of our history.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWERFebruary 8, 1956
“Throughout our history, immigration to this land has contributed greatly to the strength and character of our Republic. Over the years we have provided for such immigration because it has been to our own national interest that we do so. It is no less to our national interest that we do so under laws that operate equitably.”
JOHN F. KENNEDY1959
“The contribution of immigrants can be seen in every aspect of our national life. We see it in religion, in business, in the arts, in education, even in athletics and in entertainment. There is no part of our nation that has not been touched by our immigrant background.”
LYNDON B. JOHNSONOctober 2, 1965
“Our beautiful America was built by a nation of strangers. From a hundred different places or more they have poured forth into an empty land, joining and blending in one mighty and irresistible tide. The land flourished because it was fed from so many sources — because it was nourished by so many cultures and traditions and peoples.”
RICHARD NIXONSeptember 26, 1972
“America is a rich mosaic of many cultures and traditions, strong in its diversity. Each new immigrant has added another piece to the mosaic of American life — a fresh perspective and a fresh appreciation of what it means to be an American.”
GERALD FORDDecember 2, 1974
“Each new wave of pioneers and immigrants had to build a place for themselves and add their individual contributions to this new life. ”
JIMMY CARTEROctober 27, 1976
“We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams. ”
RONALD REAGANJuly 20, 1981
“Our nation is a nation of immigrants. More than any other country, our strength comes from our own immigrant heritage and our capacity to welcome those from other lands. No free and prosperous nation can by itself accommodate all those who seek a better life or flee persecution.”
GEORGE H. W. BUSHJanuary 31, 1990
“Our nation is the enduring dream of every immigrant who ever set foot on these shores, and the millions still struggling to be free. This nation, this idea called America, was and always will be a new world — our new world.”
BILL CLINTONJune 13, 1998
“More than any other nation on Earth, America has constantly drawn strength and spirit from wave after wave of immigrants… Bearing different memories, honoring different heritages, they have strengthened our economy, enriched our culture, renewed our promise of freedom and opportunity for all.”
GEORGE W. BUSHJuly 24, 2006
“It says something about our country that people around the world are willing to leave their homes and leave their families and risk everything to come to America. Their talent and hard work and love of freedom have helped make America the leader of the world. And our generation will ensure that America remains a beacon of liberty and the most hopeful society this world has ever known.”
BARACK OBAMAJanuary 29, 2013
“We define ourselves as a nation of immigrants. That’s who we are — in our bones. The promise we see in those who come here from every corner of the globe, that’s always been one of our greatest strengths. It keeps our workforce young. It keeps our country on the cutting edge. And it’s helped build the greatest economic engine the world has ever known.”
This information was originally posted on WhiteHouse.gov