The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

Readout of the President's Meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Fixing the Broken Immigration System

In a meeting in the State Dining Room today, the President and Senior Administration officials met with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to discuss the importance of fixing the broken immigration system so that it meets our nation’s 21st century economic and security needs.

The President thanked the CHC members for joining him in a strong effort to pass the DREAM Act during the lame-duck session last year, and reiterated his disappointment that it failed to pass in the Senate after passing with bipartisan votes in the House. The President also noted his deep disappointment that Congressional action on immigration reform has stalled.

The President was asked by the CHC members to consider a broad range of administrative options.   The President articulated that his goal is to reform the law, and that he cannot do this unilaterally, noting that the only way to fix what’s broken about our immigration system is through legislative action in Congress. However, the President agreed to carefully review the CHC members’ request.

The President detailed how the Administration continues to improve our legal immigration system, secure our borders, and enhance our immigration enforcement. He noted that his Administration will continue to work toward improving our enforcement practices so that we are not using our limited resources on those potentially eligible for an adjustment of status, but rather tightening our efforts so that the Department of Homeland Security more effectively and sensibly focuses on criminals, a smart approach from a law enforcement perspective.

The President updated the CHC members on the meetings he has held in recent weeks with stakeholders from a broad range of sectors and from both parties on the need to elevate the debate on immigration and get past the false debates and rhetoric that have dominated the issue. The President reaffirmed that he will continue to work to forge bipartisan consensus and will intensify efforts to lead a civil debate on this issue in the coming weeks and months. The President and the CHC members agreed that they share the same goal of fixing the broken immigration system through legislative action, and that it is in the best interests of our nation’s economic and security needs to do so at the earliest possible opportunity.

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