President Obama huddled with religious leaders Friday to plot the path forward in pushing immigration reform.
“The President thanked the leaders for their support and reiterated his strong commitment to working with Congress in a bipartisan manner so that they can swiftly pass and send a commonsense immigration reform bill to his desk. The leaders expressed their concerns over the impact the broken immigration system is having on families throughout their congregations,” the White House said in a readout of the closed meeting.
“The President and the leaders discussed the pillars the President has put forward for reform, including that any bill must include a pathway to earned citizenship, as well as measures to crack down on employers who game the system and exploit both American and immigrant workers, continuing to strengthen our border security, and strengthening the legal immigration system for families, employers, and workers. The President noted that there is good progress being made by a bipartisan group in the Senate, but urged the leaders to continue to make this important issue a priority.”
At the meeting were Leith Anderson, National Association of Evangelicals; Stephan Bauman, President and CEO, World Relief; Bishop Minerva Carcaño, United Methodist Church; Rev. Luis Cortés, President, Esperanza; Barrett Duke, Southern Baptist Convention; Bishop Orlando Findlayter, Senior Pastor, New Hope Christian Fellowship; Archbishop José Horacio Gomez, Archdiocese of Los Angeles; Mark Hetfield, President and CEO, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society; Rev. Kathryn Lohre, National Council of Churches; Imam Mohamed Magid, President, Islamic Society of North America; Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; Rev. Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition; Dieter Uchtdorf, Second Counselor, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; and Jim Wallis, President and CEO, Sojourners.
“The President and the leaders agreed that the diversity of faith communities represented around the table was indicative of the growing consensus across America in support of fixing the broken immigration system,” the White House said. “The leaders thanked the President for his leadership, offered a prayer, and agreed to continue working together to move the immigration debate forward in Congress.”
Obama goes to the Hill to meet with congressional Republicans this week. It’s not known if immigration reform will be on the agenda.