President Obama Meets with Sens. McCain and Graham on Immigration Reform Legislation

February 23, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Republican senators John McCain (Arizona) and Lindsey Graham (South Carolina) will meet with President Obama today to discuss immigration reform legislation. Both senators are part of the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” group that in January released a framework for immigration reform. This is President Obama’s most direct involvement in the Senate negotiations to date. Business, faith and law enforcement voices across the country continue to express support for congressional action to fix our immigration laws once and for all. Today in Arizona, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Greater Phoenix Leadership, the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and more than 125 members of Arizona’s business community unveiled a letter commending the efforts of Republican senators John McCain and Jeff Flake. The letter states, “In order to ensure the competitive standing and economic strength of Arizona and the United States, we must have a robust and fair immigration process that promotes legal immigration while securing our nation’s borders.”

Bryan Derreberry, President and CEO of the Charleston (S.C.) Metro Chamber of Commerce, reinforced the economic urgency: “South Carolina’s modern economy, with a growing high-tech sector and a booming tourism industry, demand immigration laws that fit the realities of today’s economy. For our state to continue to grow and prosper, it is critical that Congress finally fix our broken immigration system. We are glad to see Senator Graham addressing this difficult issue head-on and look forward to a solution that works for South Carolina businesses of all sizes and in all sectors.” And in Texas, leaders from the law enforcement, business and faith communities have come together to urge Congress to move forward on immigration solutions at the Texas Immigration Summit in Austin and in the launch of the Texas Compact.

Sheriff Guadalupe “Lupe” Treviño of Hidalgo County, Texas, praised today’s meeting, stating, “I’m encouraged by the continuing bipartisan spirit in Washington for prompt action on immigration reform legislation. As the sheriff of Hidalgo County, I know firsthand the importance of long-term improvements to our immigration system to strengthen the partnerships between local police and the immigrant community and to promote public safety for everyone.”

“Today’s talks offer a bipartisan light unheard of in a divided Washington,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. “Congress is moving full steam ahead on immigration reform as both Democrats and Republicans realize that an improved immigration process is smart politics and smart policy for the nation.”