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-- to grow our middle class.
Our citizens have to have access to -- education and training that today's jobs report.
We also have to make sure that America remains a place where every one who's willing to work.
Everybody is wont work hard has the chance to get ahead.
Our economy is strong.
When we harness the talents and ingenuity of striving hopeful immigrants.
And right now.
The business labor law enforcement faith communities they all agree that the time has come.
To pass comprehensive immigration reform.
Real reform means stronger border security.
And we can build on the progress my administration's already made putting more boots on the southern border than at any time in our history.
And reducing illegal crossings to their lowest levels in forty years.
Real reform means establishing a responsible pathway to earned citizenship.
A path that includes passing a background check.
Paying taxes and a meaningful penalty.
And going to the back of the line behind the folks trying to come here legally it.
And real reform means fixing the legal immigration system.
To cut waiting periods and attract the highly skilled out to the north and engineer of the -- In other words.
We know what needs to be done.
And as we speak.
Bipartisan groups in both chambers for working diligently to draft a bill.
And I applaud their efforts so let's get this done.
Send me a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the next few months and I won't sign up right away and America.
Well we can't stop there.
We know our economy is stronger what our wives -- mothers.
Can live their lives free from discrimination in the workplace.
And free from the fear of domestic violence.
Today the senate passed the violence against women's act that Joseph Biden originally wrote almost forty years ago.
And I've now -- How could you -- Can I ask this congress to declare that women should -- all week living equal to their efforts.
And finally pass.
The paycheck fairness act this year.
We know our economy stronger when we reward an honest days work with honest wages.
But today a full time worker making the minimum wage earns.
Dollars a year.
Even -- -- the tax relief we put in place.
A family -- two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line.
That's why since the last time this congress raise the minimum wage.
Nineteen states have chosen to bump there is even higher.
Let's declare that in the wealthiest nation on our.
No one who works full time should have to live in poverty and raise the federal minimum.
Played nine dollars.
This single step would raise the incomes of millions more contempt.
-- don't mean the difference between groceries -- the food bank.
Renter -- Scraping by or finally getting ahead.
For businesses across the country would mean customers put more money in the pockets.
The whole lot of folks out there -- -- need less help from government.
In fact working folks shouldn't have to wait year after year for the minimum wage to go up while CEO pay has never -- -- So here's an idea of the governor Romney and I actually -- don't -- Let's -- the minimum wage to the cost eleven so that it finally become the -- you can live on.
Tonight let's also recognize that there are communities in this country where no matter how hard you work.
It is virtually impossible to get ahead.
Factory towns decimated from years of plants packing up.
Inescapable pockets of poverty.
And urban and rural.
We're young adults are still fighting for their first job.
America's not a place where the chance of birth or circumstance should decide our destiny.
That's why we need to build new ladders of opportunity in the middle class for all -- going to climb up.
Let's offer incentives to companies that hire Americans.
Who got what it takes to fill that job opening but have been out of work so long that no one will give them a chance anymore.
Let's put people back to work rebuilding vacant homes and run -- neighborhoods.
And this year my administration will begin to partner with -- of the hardest hit towns in America to get these communities back on their feet.
-- will work with local leaders to target resources the public safety and education.
And -- We'll -- new tax credits to businesses that hire and invest.
And we'll work to strengthen families by removing the financial -- to marriage for low income couples can do more to encourage fatherhood.
Because what makes your -- has the ability to conceive a child it's having the courage to raise one.
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