As Families Gather Around the Nowruz Table, President Obama Speaks to the People and Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran

As families and friends gather around the Sofreh-e Haft Sin to celebrate Nowruz, President Obama extends his best wishes for the new spring and new year. In his message, the President speaks directly to the people and leaders of the Islamic Republic of... Read more »

No Matter Where You Come From, America Is a Place Where You Can Make It If You Try

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on immigration, at the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center in San Francisco, Calif

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)

In the early 1900s, more than 300,000 people passed through California’s Angel Island on their way to a new life in America, many drawn by the belief that here, anything was possible.

Today, just a few miles away at the Betty Ong Recreation Center in San Francisco’s Chinatown, President Obama said 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.

“Too often when we talk about immigration, the debate focuses on our southern border,” President Obama said. But immigrants from all over the world have put down roots in every corner of the country. In San Francisco, where the economy is one of the fastest growing in the country, 35 percent of business owners are immigrants.

“That’s the impact that our talented, hardworking immigrants can have," he said. “That’s the difference they can make. And that’s why it’s long past time to reform an immigration system that doesn’t serve America as well as it should – because we should be doing more to unleash that potential.”

President Obama shared the story of Andrew Ly and his brothers, who emigrated from Vietnam by way of Malaysia. Once they arrived in San Francisco, they learned English and worked as handymen and seamstresses.

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. So these humble and striving immigrants from Vietnam now employ more than 300 Americans. They’re supplying pastries to Costco and Safeway, and almost every hotel and hospital in San Francisco. 

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President Obama Meets with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu

President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel hold a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office, Sept. 30, 2013.(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) Today President Obama ... Read more »

President Obama Announces New Diplomatic Efforts with the Islamic Republic of Iran

Watch on YouTube Today, President Obama spoke with President Rouhani of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the first communication between an American and Iranian President since 1979. The two leaders discussed ongoing efforts to reach an agreement ov... Read more »

President Obama at the Memorial Service for Victims of the Navy Yard Shooting: “We Can’t Accept This”

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On Sunday, President Obama spoke at a memorial service to honor the victims of the Navy Yard shooting, and to thank first responders for their work.

“We know that no words we offer today are equal to the magnitude, to the depths of that loss,” the President told the families of the victims. “But we come together as a grateful nation to honor your loved ones, to grieve with you, and to offer, as best we can, some solace and comfort.”

President Obama explained that this is the fifth time since taking office that he’s grieved with communities ripped apart by gun violence:

And so, once again, we remember our fellow Americans who were just going about their day doing their jobs, doing what they loved -- in this case, the unheralded work that keeps our country strong and our Navy the finest fleet in the world. These patriots doing their work that they were so proud of, and who have now been taken away from us by unspeakable violence.

Once more we come together to mourn the lives of beauty and to comfort the wonderful families who cherished them. Once more we pay tribute to all who rushed towards the danger, who risked their lives so others might live, and who are in our prayers today, including Officer Scott Williams. Once more our hearts are broken. Once more we ask why. Once more we seek strength and wisdom through God's grace.

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President Obama Speaks on the Washington Navy Yard Shooting

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Today, before delivering remarks on the economy, President Obama gave a brief statement about the tragic events at the Washington Navy Yard.

“We still don’t know all the facts, but we do know that several people have been shot, and some have been killed,” he said. “So we are confronting yet another mass shooting -- and today, it happened on a military installation in our nation’s capital.”

It’s a shooting that targeted our military and civilian personnel.  These are men and women who were going to work, doing their job, protecting all of us. They’re patriots, and they know the dangers of serving abroad -- but today, they faced unimaginable violence that they wouldn't have expected here at home. 

So we offer our gratitude to the Navy and local law enforcement, federal authorities, and the doctors who’ve responded with skill and bravery.  I’ve made it clear to my team that I want the investigation to be seamless, so that federal and local authorities are working together.  And as this investigation moves forward, we will do everything in our power to make sure whoever carried out this cowardly act is held responsible.   

In the meantime, we send our thoughts and prayers to all at the Navy Yard who’ve been touched by this tragedy.  We thank them for their service.  We stand with the families of those who’ve been harmed.  They’re going to need our love and support.  And as we learn more about the courageous Americans who died today -- their lives, their families, their patriotism -- we will honor their service to the nation they helped to make great.  And obviously, we're going to be investigating thoroughly what happened, as we do so many of these shootings, sadly, that have happened, and do everything that we can to try to prevent them. 

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President Obama’s Final Day at the G-20 Summit

President Barack Obama, with China's President Xi Jinping, delivers remarks prior to participating in their bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit, Sept. 6, 2013 in St. Petersburg, Russia. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson) ... Read more »