Faith Leaders Meet with Obama on Immigration Reform

JCUA’s Jane Ramsey notes that this meeting at the White House is “a good sign that our work on Immigration Reform is promising and hopeful.”


Office of the Press Secretary



June 28, 2010

Readout of the President’s Meeting with Grassroots Leaders to Discuss Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Today, the President met with representatives from a broad range of community groups to discuss the ways in which his Administration is working with stakeholders around the country as well as members of Congress to craft a comprehensive approach that will finally fix our broken immigration system.  The President reiterated that he wants to see a bipartisan process based on the proposal presented in the Senate and building on the Schumer-Graham framework, which thoughtfully addresses the need to further secure our borders and demands accountability from both workers who are here illegally and unscrupulous employers who game the system.

During the meeting the President also reiterated that truly securing our border requires comprehensive immigration reform, said that his Administration will continue to work with Congress to act at the earliest possible opportunity and he announced that he would be delivering a speech soon on the importance of passing comprehensive immigration reform.  He also thanked the community groups for their support and hard work on this issue as this important process moves forward. In addition, the President once again made clear his views on the recent law passed in Arizona and noted that the Department of Justice was reviewing it.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                               Contact:

June 28, 2010                                                                          Katherine Vargas (202) 641-5198

Shu Ohno (202) 309-5645

President Meets with Diverse Leaders on Immigration Reform

Advancing Reform Legislation, Arizona Lawsuit Discussed

Washington D.C. – On Monday, June 28, a diverse group of civil rights, labor, religious, and immigrant community leaders met with President Obama for a meaningful discussion on the effort to win comprehensive immigration reform.  The following is a statement from Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum and Chair of the Reform Immigration FOR America:

“Today, we strongly requested for the President to assert his leadership and escalate his efforts to assure comprehensive immigration reform legislation is enacted in 2010.  From our meeting, it is clear that the President is committed to comprehensive immigration reform and understands that Congressional action is needed urgently.

We also strongly urged the administration to assert the proper role of the federal government in immigration enforcement by bringing up a legal challenge to Arizona’s harsh immigration law, “SB 1070“.   The President indicated that he had asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to review the Arizona law and that it will be up to the DOJ as to whether and when that law is challenged.

We applaud the President for doing the right thing in requesting the Department of Justice to review the law. The President is asserting the federal government’s authority and we strongly urge the Department of Justice to demonstrate needed leadership by challenging the Arizona law.

The President knows that a federal challenge to the Arizona law isn’t enough. Any legal action will only raise the stakes for the President and Congress to take real and meaningful action to ensure finally, a federal solution to our broken immigration system.  Federal intervention in Arizona is necessary to prevent the federal immigration system from falling into complete chaos. For the federal government to assert its constitutional authority over immigration policy in this instance, but to do nothing concrete legislatively will only serve to further divide the American people.

In our discussions today, we raised our concerns about the urgently needed reforms to the harsh and draconian detention and deportation mechanisms that are tearing apart families and communities under his watch.  We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that the President and his administration uphold America’s finest values of transparency, due process and family unity in the enforcement of America’s immigration laws.

We will support the President’s efforts to finally fix our nation’s broken immigration system, as will theoverwhelming majority of Americans. Senate Democrats have stepped forward with an outline for legislation. It is now up to the Republican Party to work across the aisle and address this urgent crisis affecting all Americans.”


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