Obama meets Senate Dems on immigration

Feb. 14, 2013 at 2:06 AM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama Wednesday told Senate Democrats border security and a path to citizenship are necessary for immigration reform.

Obama joined Vice President Joe Biden and members of his senior staff in a meeting with Senate Democrats in which he reiterated the "key principles he believes must be a part of any bipartisan, commonsense effort" at immigration reform, the White House said in a statement.

"Continuing to strengthen border security, creating an earned path to citizenship, holding employers accountable and streamlining legal immigration" all are necessary components to successful reform, the statement said.

"Thanks to steps taken in recent years, the border today is more secure than any time in history, and the president made clear that building on this progress must continue to be a priority as part of reform.

"The president also expressed his belief that continuing to strengthen our borders and creating a path to earned citizenship that ensures everyone plays by the same set of rules are shared goals and should not be seen as mutually exclusive. The president thanked the Senators for their work to date and told them that while he was pleased with the progress, he expects the process to continue to move forward and stands ready to introduce his own legislation if Congress fails to act," the White House said.

Meeting participants included Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois, Chuck Schumer of New York, Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Michael Bennet of Colorado.

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