As the markup session of the immigration reform bill continues in the Senate Judiciary Committee, President Obama took the opportunity today to meet with DREAMers and their family members in the Oval Office. This meeting gave President Obama and Vice President Biden an opportunity to reaffirm their support for comprehensive immigration reform. In recent months, immigrant activists have been calling on the President to suspend deportations while the immigration bill is being debated.
Here is a readout from the White House Press Secretary that was sent out after the meeting:
This morning, the President and the Vice President met in the Oval Office with young immigrants who received deferred action and with the siblings and spouses of undocumented immigrants. This meeting was an important opportunity for the President and the Vice President to meet with families who are directly affected by our nation’s broken immigration system.
The President and the Vice President were moved by the stories of courage and determination of these young immigrants and their families. The Dreamers shared how their lives have been positively affected by the deferred action process and emphasized that they and their families need a permanent solution that will allow them to fully contribute to the country they call home.
At the meeting, the President reiterated his commitment to passing a bipartisan, commonsense immigration reform bill this year. He made clear that while the current bill is not perfect, it does represent an important step towards the broad principles that need to be part of any immigration reform package.
The President underscored that their stories are a good reminder that immigration isn’t just a policy issue, but it’s about our families, our communities and it’s about our common future. The President and the Vice President thanked participants for their leadership, courage and on-going efforts to move immigration reform legislation forward. The President also encouraged them to continue to share their stories with the American public to move the hearts and minds of individual leaders and to propel the immigration debate forward.
The following people participated in the today’s meeting. Participants are visiting Washington to speak to their elected representatives as the Senate considers immigration reform legislation:
· Diana Colin. Diana is a legal permanent resident who currently resides in Los Angeles, California. One of her brothers received deferred action.
· Kate Kahan, Legislative Director, Center for Community Change. Kate is the Legislative Director for the Center for Community Change, a national social justice organization that is a member of the Alliance for Citizenship coalition in support of commonsense immigration reform.
· Angie Kim. Angie is a South Korean immigrant who resides in New York, New York; she received deferred action.
· Miguel Leal. Miguel is a U.S. citizen who resides in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. He is an Iraq war veteran. Miguel is an immigrant from Cuba; his wife in undocumented.
· Kevin Lee. Kevin is a South Korean immigrant who received deferred action. He currently resides in Los Angeles, California. Both of his parents are undocumented.
· Mehdi Mahraoui. Mehdi came to the United States from Morocco when he was 7 years old. He is a legal permanent resident and lives in New York, New York. His parents and his older sister remain undocumented.
· Melissa McGuire-Maniau. Melissa’s husband is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico. Melissa is a U.S. veteran; she and her husband reside in Winter Park, Florida.
· Justino Mora. Justino received deferred action; he currently resides in Los Angeles, California.