President Bush Signs Secure Fence Act<quoted text>
It's not.... He's deported more criminal aliens than any other president.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. Thanks. Please be seated. I'm pleased that you all are here to witness the signature of the Secure Fence Act of 2006. This bill will help protect the American people. This bill will make our borders more secure. It is an important step toward immigration reform.
I want to thank the members of Congress for their work on this important piece of legislation. I welcome you here to the White House. I'm looking forward to signing this bill.
President George W. Bush signs H.R. 6061, the Secure Fence Act of 2006, in the Roosevelt Room Thursday, Oct. 26, 2006. Pictured with the President are, from left: Commissioner Ralph Basham of U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Chief David Aguilar of U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Congressman Peter King, R-N.Y.; Congressman John Boehner, R-Ohio; and Deputy Secretary Michael Jackson of the Department of Homeland Security; and Senator Bill Frist,
R-Tenn. White House photo by Kimberlee HewittI appreciate the Vice President joining us today. I thank the Deputy Secretary, Michael Jackson, of the Department of Homeland Security. Rob Portman -- he happens to be the Director of OMB. I want to thank Ralph Basham, who is the Commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. David Aguilar is the Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol.
I appreciate the fact that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has joined us, as well as House Majority Leader John Boehner. I appreciate them coming in from their respective states as I sign this piece of legislation. I want to thank Congressman Peter King, who's the Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee in the House of Representatives. I appreciate you being here, Peter.
Ours is a nation of immigrants. We're also a nation of law. Unfortunately, the United States has not been in complete control of its borders for decades and, therefore, illegal immigration has been on the rise. We have a responsibility to address these challenges. We have a responsibility to
enforce our laws. We have a responsibility to secure our borders. We take this responsibility seriously.
Earlier this year, I addressed the nation from the Oval Office. I laid out our strategy for immigration reform. Part of that strategy begins with securing the border. Since I took office we have more than doubled funding for border security -- from $4.6 billion in 2001 to $10.4 billion this year. We've increased the number of Border Patrol agents from about 9,000 to more
than 12,000, and by the end of 2008, we will have doubled the number of Border Patrol agents during my presidency.
We've deployed thousands of National Guard members to assist the Border Patrol. We've upgraded technology at our borders. We've added infrastructure, including new fencing and vehicle barriers. We're adding thousands of new beds in our detention facilities so we can continue working to end catch and release at our southern border. During the course of my administration we have apprehended and sent home more 6 million people entering our country illegally. And I thank the Border Patrol for their hard work.