Talking today with law enforcement officials at the White House, President Obama said changes to immigration law is necessary "for our safety and security."
"Our broken immigration system makes it harder for our law enforcement agencies to do their job," Obama said.
"Our system is not fair to workers, is not fair to businesses and and is not fair to law enforcement agencies."
Via the White House pool report:
Mr Obama spoke to a group of "law enforcement leaders" in the Eisenhower Office building, for about ten minutes,starting at 12.00. See below for WH list of attendees.
Mr Obama was introduced by the DHS secretary, Jeh Johnson, who spoke about his two best days as a public servant - the day that OBL was captured and four days later when Mr Obama went to NYC and visited the fire house at 48th and 8th and then the 1st Precinct of the NYPD.Mr Obama then arrived to talk about immigration reform which he said was was important for America's "economic future, our cultural future, our standing in the world and our safety and security."Here are some further outtakes, making the case for comprehensive immigration reform.:"It's the right thing to do for our safety and security.""Our broken immigration system makes it harder for our law enforcement agencies to do their job.""Our system is not fair to workers, is not fair to businesses and and is not fair to law enforcement agencies.""We have put unprecedented resources at our borders."He joked that people probably knew he was in favour of reform, along with the Hispanic caucus on Congress and some businesses like those recruiting agricultural workers. "A number of Republicans are realising that blocking immigration reform is not a good idea.""Public opinion is on our side.""A handful of House Republicans are blocking legislation getting to the floor."Said he was not wedded to every section in the current Senate bill.Said about 80 per cent of the undocumented immigrants had been in the US for more than ten years and that they were "woven into teh fabric of our society."Talked about how policing the current law was stopping police from "chasing gang bangers and going after violent criminals."Said to bring the public along - "It is more important to hear from unexpected voices." (like law enforcement) "We have a very narrow window"The closer we get to mid-term elections the harder it will be to get things done.""We have about 2-3 months to get the ball rolling in the House of Representatives.
Background from the White House:
More than 40 Law Enforcement leaders are attending today's meeting, representing the following organizations:
o Major Cities Chiefs Association
o Major County Sheriffs Association
o National Sheriffs Association
o International Association of Chiefs of Police
o Fraternal Order of Police
o National Association of Police Organizations
o Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association
o Police Executive Research Association
Administration Officials Include:
Secretary Jeh Johnson, Department of Homeland Security
Director of Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz
Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Department of Homeland Security
Assistant Secretary Alan Bersin, Department of Homeland Security
Associate Attorney General Tony West, Department of Justice