Tue, 05 Feb 2013 09:45:51 GMT

Obama invites Indian American community leaders for dialogue



From Lalit K Jha
Washington, Feb 5 (PTI) US President Barack Obama has invited a group of progressive and labour leaders, including two Indian Americans Deepak Bhargava and Deepa Iyer for a dialogue on his immigration reform and how it fits into his broader economic agenda.

Bhargava from the Centre for Community Change and Deepa Ayer from the South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), are among the 16 progressive and labour leaders invited by the US President from across the nation for a dialogue with them at the White House today.

This is part of the President''s effort to "continue his dialogue with outside leaders on a number of issues including immigration reform and how it fits into his broader economic agenda, and his efforts to achieve balanced deficit reduction," the White House said.

The White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters here that on immigration reform, Obama and his team will continue to highlight the importance of comprehensive immigration reform this week.

They will meet with key stakeholders, CEOs and law enforcement officials to discuss the benefits from an economic and a security perspective while also underscoring the historic progress that has been made when it comes to securing the nation''s borders, Carney said.

"On Tuesday, the President will hold meetings at the White House with labour leaders and progressive leaders as well as, separately, a number of CEOs from across industries to discuss his commitment to getting a bipartisan bill passed in 2013 and how immigration reform fits within his broader agenda for economic growth and competitiveness," he said.

Yesterday, the Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano travelled to the Mexican border in the south to meet with state and local stakeholders and discuss the department''s ongoing efforts to secure the border while facilitating lawful travel and trade. She would continue her visit today.

"On Wednesday, following her trip, Secretary Napolitano, Assistant Attorney General Tony West and Director of Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muoz will meet with law enforcement officials from across the country to discuss the President''s common-sense immigration reform proposal, and to underscore the unprecedented financial and human investment this administration has made in securing our borders and making borders communities safer," Carney said.

"Immigration reform will obviously be at the top of the agenda in his meeting with both progressive and labour leaders and CEOs tomorrow," he said.

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