POLITICS: PennAve

Obama makes pitch for immigration reform during Asia trip

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Politics,White House,Immigration,Barack Obama,PennAve,Meghashyam Mali

President Obama pushed for immigration reform during his visit to South Korea on Friday, attending a naturalization ceremony for military servicemembers and their spouses in Seoul.

The president said there was no "higher privilege" than joining those about to become new American citizens.

“If there’s anything that this should teach us, it's that America is strengthened by our immigrants,” he said.

“If we want to keep attracting the best and the brightest, the smartest and the most selfless the world has to offer, then we have to keep this in mind: the value of our immigrants to our way of life. It is central to who we are; it's in our DNA. It's part of our creed,” said Obama.

And he pressed Congress to act on the issue. “That means moving forward we've got to fix our broken immigration system and pass common-sense immigration reform,” he added.

A bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill passed the Senate last year. But the House has been slow to act, with conservative lawmakers saying they want to address the issue piecemeal and focus first on border security.

House GOP leaders earlier this year unveiled a set of immigration reform principles, but Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, quickly pulled the plug, saying it was unlikely legislation would pass before November's midterms.

Obama is visiting Asia on a weeklong, four nation tour.

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