This weekend I am traveling in California, where I'm focusing on important issues for our nation's future, including our economy, energy prices, the war on terror and immigration reform.
America's economy is strong, and we need to keep it strong in an increasingly competitive world. The talent and innovative spirit of our people have driven America's economic growth. To maintain our economic leadership, our nation must stay on the leading edge of innovation — so I have proposed the American Competitiveness Initiative.
One important part of this initiative is improving math and science education for our young people, so they have the right skills to succeed in the 21st-century economy. On Friday in San Jose, I had the chance to visit Cisco Systems, a company that understands the importance of preparing the next generation for the high-tech jobs of tomorrow.
Through its Networking Academy Program, Cisco is helping to train high school students in math, science, and information technology skills. By ensuring that we have a skilled workforce for the future, companies like Cisco are helping America compete with confidence, and keeping our economy growing, and creating new jobs for our citizens.
Saturday is Earth Day, and many of you are asking how we can meet our growing energy needs while protecting our environment.
The key is technology. So I have proposed the advanced energy initiative to change the way we power our homes, businesses, and cars. I will visit the California Fuel Cell Partnership to take a closer look at hydrogen fuel cells, one of the exciting new technologies supported by my initiative. These fuel cells have the potential to revolutionize the way we power our cars by giving us vehicles that will emit no pollution and will be more efficient than gas-powered cars.
My advanced energy initiative will also help improve hybrid vehicles — cars and trucks that run partly on electricity and help drivers save gas. We're funding research into a new generation of plug-in hybrid vehicles that could be recharged in electrical outlets and could allow many drivers to make their daily commute using no gasoline.
By developing these and other new sources of clean renewable energy like ethanol, we will continue growing our economy, reduce energy prices and protect our environment, and make America less dependent on foreign oil.
Americans are asking about our progress toward victory in the war on terror. I have confidence in the outcome of this struggle because I know the character of the people who wear our Nation's uniform. On Sunday, I will attend church and have lunch with Marine Corps and Navy personnel and their families at the Twentynine Palms base. I will tell them how honored I am to be their Commander in Chief and express the gratitude of all Americans for their service in the cause of freedom.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, the men and women of our military have overthrown a cruel regime in Afghanistan, captured or killed many Al Qaeda terrorists, liberated Iraq, and made America more secure from terrorist dangers. We're fighting the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home. By taking the fight to the terrorists and bringing liberty and hope to a troubled region, our courageous troops are making the world a safer place.
On Monday, I'll visit Irvine, Calif., to discuss immigration reform with the local community. Immigration is an emotional issue. And it's sparked passionate debate. When we discuss immigration, we're talking about the integrity of our borders, the enforcement of our laws, and the character of our nation.
Here's what I believe: America does not have to choose between being a welcoming society and being a lawful society. We can be both at the same time. In the coming weeks, I'll press Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform that secures our border, enforces our laws, meets the needs of our economy, and upholds our highest ideals.
We must also ensure that all immigrants assimilate into our society and learn our customs, our values, and our language. America is a land of immigrants and a nation of laws. And we must stay true to both parts of this great heritage.
As Congress returns from its recess, its members have important and consequential work before them. I urge them to act on my initiatives to keep America competitive, to promote alternative sources of energy, reform our immigration system, and continue their support of our troops fighting in the global war on terror.
By taking these steps, we'll maintain America's strength. And a strong America will help lead the world to a future of greater freedom and prosperity and peace.
Thank you for listening.