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Cabinet Room

3:07 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Good to have you all.  Hello, Chairman.  Great man, right here.  Might be another one right there.  We have some good ones.  We had a wonderful meeting on healthcare, yesterday, you probably know about, and so we’re moving along.  Hello, Thomas.

Thank you very much for being here to discuss two crucial votes taking place in Congress tomorrow on vital safety and national security legislation.

We’re joined by the Chairman of the House Judiciary, Bob Goodlatte, a friend of mine for a long time.  Bob is one of the most skilled legislators in Congress — and you didn’t even tell me to say that, Bob, right — (laughter) — and he’s worked with law enforcement to write a series of critical immigration bills that will close the dangerous loopholes exploited by criminals, gang members, drug dealers, killers, terrorists.

MS-13 is a prime target.  They are bad people.  And we’ve gotten many of them out already.  You know, we’re pretty much at the 50 percent mark.  We’re getting them out as fast as we can get them out, and we’re freeing up towns.  We’re actually liberating towns, if you can believe that we have to do that in the United States of America.  But we’re doing it, and we’re doing it fast.

Also with us today are Congressman Peter King, another friend.  Lou Barletta — where’s Lou?  Lou, another friend.  So you’re running for governor, Lou?  Look behind you, Lou.  You can make a big announcement — (laughter.)  Lou Barletta, an early supporter.  Thank you, Lou.  And David Young.

Tomorrow, the House will vote on the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act.  It’s been in the works for a long time.  People have wanted it, Bob, for a long time.  But we were able to get this process going, and I hope you’re going to be successful.  You’ll be successful, tomorrow, with the vote?


THE PRESIDENT:  Good — which will cut federal grant money to cities that shield dangerous criminal aliens from being turned over to federal law enforcement.

The House will also vote on Kate’s Law, named for Kate Steinle, who was killed by an illegal immigrant and who’s been deported five times.  This law will enhance criminal penalties for those who repeatedly reenter the country illegally.

Countless innocent Americans, including the loved ones of many families in the room — and many of these families are friends of mine — great friends of mine that I got to know over the campaign trail because they fought so hard for this.  And they are with us.  They’ve had members of their family killed by illegal immigrants and, really, people with multiple — in some cases, multiple deportations.

I’m especially honored to be here with so many courageous families whom I did get to know so well over the past period of time.  You know, here’s one right over here.  Jamiel — a great, great man with a great son — great son, great family.

You lost the people that you love because our government refused to enforce our nation’s immigration laws.  And that’s even the existing immigration laws, without new laws.  That’s existing immigration laws.

For years, the pundits, journalists, politicians in Washington refused to hear your voices, but on Election Day, 2016, your voices were heard all across the entire world.  Right?  You better believe it.  Nobody died in vain, I can tell you.

Chairman Goodlatte has produced a package of truly key immigration enforcement bills.  We’ve been waiting for these for a long time, and I want to thank you, Chairman, for doing that.  Great job.  And it’s just perfect.

This package includes the Davis-Oliver Act, whose passage I called for nearly a year ago at my inauguration speech and immigration speech — both — the immigration speech taking place in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Davis-Oliver Act was named for Detective Michael Davis and Deputy Sheriff Danny Oliver, who were gunned down in the line of duty by an illegal immigrant with a criminal record and two prior deportations.  And everybody knew this person was big, big trouble, and they begged law enforcement to get him out.  And they were unable to do that.

Their incredibly brave widows honored — and they’re here with us, by the way — we’re honoring them today.  And it’s honored — where are you please?  The widow — where is — they’re here someplace.  In the back of the room?  Thank you, everybody.  Thank you.

We’re privileged to be joined by Melissa.  Melissa —

MS. OLIVER:  Right here.

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s what I thought.  Hello, Melissa.  (Laughter.)  Melissa Oliver.  And I just want to say that your father was a true hero — and you know that — and a great gentleman, and we miss him.  You miss him.  We miss him.

We’re calling on all members of Congress to honor grieving American families by passing these lifesaving measures in the House, in the Senate, and then sending them to my desk for a very rapid signature.  I promise you, it will be done quickly.  You don’t have to wait the mandatory period.  It will be very quick, Melissa, in honor of your father and others, okay?  And in honor of Jamiel.

MR. SHAW:  Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  It’s time to support our police, to protect our families, and to save American lives.  And also to start getting smart.

So with that, I’d like to ask each of the families invited, and some of the folks that I know that — and some I’ve gotten to know so well.  I’d like to start with Jamiel, to tell just a quick story about how great your son was, perhaps what happened, so that other people can learn by it.  I mean, your son was an incredible young man, incredible student and athlete.  Tell us about your son, Jamiel.

3:14 P.M. EDT