Hector, thank you. One of the best decisions I made was, I asked you to come and be the SBA Director. And he's doing a fine job. One of the reasons I asked Hector is because he understands that the role of Government is not to create wealth but to create an environment in which entrepreneurs from all walks of life have a chance to succeed.
I'll never forget going to the Hispanic Chamber banquet in California, and I was given the information about the number of Latino-owned small businesses in the State of California. It was a staggering number, and I can remember telling friends of mine in Texas and other States what a magnificent statistic it is, to be able to read about the thousands of businesses started by Latinos, which means the American Dream is spreading her wings in every single neighborhood, which is precisely the vision I have for America. I want everybody who wants to start their own business to feel comfortable in doing so and have an opportunity to succeed in America. And Hector understands that.
I want to thank you all to the Casa Blanca tambien. I want to thank Fidel Vargas for being here. He's on the Social Security Commission; I put two Latinos on the Social Security Commission. The Social Security Commission spent a lot of time analyzing the Social Security System and came back with a solid recommendation of allowing younger workers, if they so choose, to have their own money invested in a personal savings account.
Again, I can't think of anything better for the future of our country than for people to own a piece of the future of America. After all, it is not the Government's money we're talking about; it is the workers' money. And I want to thank the hard work of Fidel y los otros and the Commission of the Social Security.
I want to thank George Herrera, the president of the Chamber, el Presidente. [Laughter] I want to thank Liz as well for being here, y tambien mi abogado. Al has been my lawyer since when I was the Governor. He's been mi abogado cuando estoy el Presidente, and his advice has always been sound. He's really a smart guy and a very close friend.
And finally, I want to recognize Miguel Estrada. Miguel. Miguel is a really bright attorney who I've named to the U.S.—nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals, DC Circuit. They're playing too much politics in the United States Senate on our judge nominees. This man deserves a hearing, and he deserves a vote. This is a good, solid jurist who ought to be on that bench. And I'm calling on the United States Senate to move quickly on Miguel's nomination so that we can have a good, young Latino, smart, brilliant man represent our Nation. Thank you for being here, Miguel.
I first want to tell you that this is an incredible time for our country, and I want to assure you all, as leaders in your communities and moms and dads and as concerned citizens, that our Nation is doing everything we can to protect America, that we've got a homeland security strategy that is working with first-responders and bioterrorism, that we want to modernize our borders. We want to make sure we do everything to protect the American people, and we are.
But you've also got to understand my view, and it's this, that the best way to protect the American people is to find a terrorist wherever they hide and bring them to justice. You know, when this first got started, I told the American people that we would be in for a long and di ...
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