Public schools were designed as the great equalizers of our society - the place where all children could have access to educational opportunities to make something of themselves in adulthood.
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And I am also here to say that if something were to happen, we are prepared to respond swiftly, to respond effectively, and to respond strongly. That is our tradition as a country. And that is a tradition that we will uphold, regardless of any circumstance because this nation is one that is very, very strong and, indeed, extraordinarily resilient.
What we're doing is making sure that we have a safe and secure border region from San Diego all the way to Brownsville. And that means manpower, it means technology, it means infrastructure, it means interior enforcement. All, you know, kind of layered in appropriate ways, and making sure, like I said before, the border is safe and secure.
Now, a lot of what we are doing right now, quite frankly, is because of what happened on Christmas. Many of the things were kind of in the works. We were already planning, for example, the purchase and deployment of advanced imaging technology. You call them body scanners. We call them AITs (Advanced Imaging Technologies).
But my view is that you need a system at the border. You need some fencing but you need technology. You need boots on the ground. And then you need to have interior enforcement of our nation's immigration laws inside the country. And that means dealing with the employers who still consistently hire illegal labor.
Well, you know, I think in conversations with members of the Senate and others, they all recognize that the issue of immigration is important. It's important to our nation, it's important to our public safety, it's important to our security, it's important to our economic well-being moving forward. And it's not something that's going to go away.
All images generated by imaging technology are viewed in a walled-off location not visible to the public. The officer assisting the passenger never sees the image, and the officer viewing the image never interacts with the passenger. The imaging technology that we use cannot store, export, print or transmit images.
As part of our layered approach, we have expedited the deployment of new Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) units to help detect concealed metallic and non-metallic threats on passengers. These machines are now in use at airports nationwide, and the vast majority of travelers say they prefer this technology to alternative screening measures.
We are on the lookout for criminal and terrorist activity but we do not - nor will we ever - monitor ideology or political beliefs. We take seriously our responsibility to protect the civil rights and liberties of the American people, including subjecting our activities to rigorous oversight from numerous internal and external sources.