Barack Obama urged to reject tying immigration reform to border security
The White House said Obama has already addressed most border security goals sought by Republicans, said spokesman Jay Carney, who added that the president would wait until senators draft a bill before judging any proposed trigger.
The immigration reform groups vowed they would make their opinions heard in Congress, and noted that the Latino electorate overwhelmingly backed Obama in the Nov. 6 presidential election and are counting on quick action on the issue.
"Our community feels momentum and our collective power," said Marie Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives held its first hearing on the issue on Tuesday and questioned the idea of providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
GUEST WORKERS AN ISSUE
Obama met separately on immigration reform with chief executives from 12 companies, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc's Lloyd Blankfein, Yahoo Inc's Marissa Mayer and Klaus Kleinfeld of Alcoa Inc.
The executives see immigration reform as good for the economy, said Arne Sorenson of Marriott International Inc .
"It's clear that immigration reform is an opportunity that really arises out of this last election," he told reporters. "It would be great to see the political leaders from both sides seize that opportunity, grab it, and pass something which is comprehensive."
Senators have also proposed an improved guest worker program, a major issue for the agricultural industry, which counts on migrant workers to pick crops, and for labor groups, which have opposed such proposals.
Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, the largest US federation of trade unions,
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