Earlier this month, the White House hosted an impressive group of state and local elected officials affiliated with the New American Leaders Project (NALP), a nonpartisan organization focused on preparing first and second-generation Americans for leadership positions. The guest list included State Senators, Mayors, County Supervisors, School Board Members, Councilmembers, and Sheriffs, each representing a unique constituency and culture. During the event, we thanked each official for their service and provided briefings on a variety of policy areas, including immigration, education and healthcare:
- Felicia Escobar, Senior Policy Director for Immigration, explained the economic benefits of an earned path to citizenship and the President’s push for commonsense immigration reform.
- Roberto Rodriguez, Special Assistant to the President for Education, outlined the President’s education priorities, including his goal to lead the world with the highest proportion of college graduates in 2020.
- The Offices of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement discussed the President’s continuing efforts to implement the Affordable Care Act.
Several of the questions we received focused on the need to fix our broken immigration system. In June, the Senate passed immigration reform legislation with strong bipartisan support. The bill was largely consistent with President Obama’s principles for reform in that it would continue to strengthen border security, create a path to earned citizenship for undocumented immigrants, hold employers accountable, and modernize our legal immigration system so that it better meets the needs of families, employers, and workers. And for the first time, some Republicans have joined Democrats in the House to endorse a bill based on the Senate bill. The President is open to new ideas and willing to work with Congressional members on both sides of the aisle to finally get this done.
Today, the President delivered remarks at the Betty Ong Recreation Center in San Francisco, California where he continued to call on Congress to pass commonsense immigration reform.
Now is the time to work together to create modern, accountable and fair laws that inspire future immigrant leaders, and live up to our finest traditions as a nation of immigrants.
Click here to learn more about why immigration reform is good for our economy.
David Agnew is Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs