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Obama meets undocumented youth, renews push for immigration overhaul


08:17, May 22, 2013

WASHINGTON, May 21 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday met with "Dreamers," undocumented youth who were brought to the country as children, renewing the push to overhaul the country's immigration system.

Obama and Biden on Tuesday morning met with young immigrants who received deferred action as well as family members of undocumented immigrants in the Oval Office of the White House. This is the White House' latest effort to move immigration reform legislation forward.

At the meeting, the president reiterated his commitment to passing a bipartisan, commonsense immigration reform bill this year.

"He made clear that while the current bill is not perfect, it does represent an important step towards the broad principles that need to be part of any immigration reform package," said the White House in a statement.

The White House said the meeting was "an important opportunity" for the President and the Vice President to meet with families " who are directly affected by our nation's broken immigration system."

The "Dreamers" shared how their lives have been positively affected by the deferred action process and emphasized that they and their families need "a permanent solution" that will allow them to fully contribute to the country they call home, said the White House.

The participants of Tuesday's meeting are currently visiting the capital to speak to their elected representatives as the Senate considers immigration reform legislation.

The Senate bill, unveiled last month by a bipartisan group of Senators, dubbed as "Gang of Eight," is still pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee this week. The bill has so far received the most attention nationwide but is expected to meet even greater resistance if it gets the chance to reach the Senate floor.

Even if it passes the Democrats-controlled Senate, the bill will still have a longer and tougher way to go in the Republicans- dominated House.

Immigration system overhaul remains President Barack Obama's top legislative priority in his second term of presidency. Both the Senate bipartisan group's proposals and the president's own goals include giving an earned citizenship to 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the country, as well as awarding green cards to foreign high-skilled workers.

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