Washington: Commonsense immigration reform remains the top priority of his Administration, the US President, Barack Obama, has told a group of national leaders from Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI).
The group of 15 AAPI national leaders, including Indian American Deepa Iyer, who is the chair of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans and executive director of the South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), met Obama yesterday at the White House in which they discussed his call for commonsense immigration reform that will strengthen the economy and grow the middle class.
"The President emphasized that commonsense immigration reform continues to be a top legislative priority and that he looks forward to working with the AAPI community to achieve that goal," the White House said.
AAPI leaders expressed their support for the principles that Obama and key Senators working on immigration reform have laid out and their strong desire for a bill that provides a pathway to earned citizenship and supports family unity.
The leaders also expressed their commitment to work with Congress to strengthen the legislation that is being considered, the White House said.
Obama and participating leaders also discussed a number of issues of importance to Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, including efforts to provide affordable, accessible health care to AAPI communities.
Meanwhile, the White House said it is closely monitoring the developments in the Congress on the comprehensive immigration reform, which was introduced in the Senate last month by a bipartisan group of eight Senators.
"We are monitoring this very closely. We are engaged with both the leaders in the Senate as well as staff who are engaged in this effort. We remain optimistic that the Senate can and will produce bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform legislation that would represent a huge advance in this country and would be in keeping with the principles the President laid out," the White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, told reporters at his daily news conference.
"It's the President's belief and hope that it is essential for a bill to emerge that is bipartisan in nature that achieves the principles that he laid forward, the principles that are shared by the bipartisan Gang of Eight," he said.