Earlier today at the White House, I met with law enforcement leaders from across the country to discuss the need for comprehensive immigration reform— the single best step we can take to enhance border security, and enable our officers and agents along the border to spend the bulk of their time focused on public safety and national security threats.
Over the past four years, we have dedicated historic levels of personnel, technology, and resources to the Southwest border, and undertaken an unprecedented effort to transform our nation's immigration enforcement system into one that focuses on public safety, border security, and the integrity of the immigration system. We have matched our success at the border with smart, effective immigration enforcement, with a focus on identifying and removing criminal aliens and other public safety threats, recent border crossers, repeat violators, and employers who break the law. We have also increased funding to our state and local law enforcement partners to make sure they have the resources they need.
The results of these efforts are clear. Attempts to cross the border illegally are down nearly 80 percent from their peak, seizures of illegal drugs, weapons and other contraband are up, and some of the safest communities in America are found in our border states.
Earlier this week, I traveled to San Diego, Calif. and Clint and El Paso, Texas, where I saw first hand the need for more modernized immigration laws that make it harder for criminals and transnational criminal organizations to operate, while encouraging immigrants to choose to pursue a pathway to legal immigration rather than breaking the law.
Our immigration system has been broken for too long and Congress must act. State, local, tribal and territorial law enforcement remain critical partners in this effort, and we look forward to working with them to advance reforms that will help us keep our communities safe and secure.