President Obama met with a number of business owners, executives and entrepreneurs on Monday to discuss the economic impact of reforming the immigration system.
The president and meeting participants discussed their views on the economic benefits of immigration reform. Meeting participants included Revolution Chairman and CEO Steve Chase; Jason Berry, the owner of Blueberry Farms of Georgia and Berry Farms; Ethan Allen Interiors President and CEO Farooq Kathwari; Guelaguetza Restaurante co-owner Bricia Lopez; FibeRio Technology founder and CTO Karen Lozano; First Rockford Group founder Sunil Puri; Yonja Media Group CEO Dilawar Syed; VoiceBunny and WeHostels founder Alex Torrenegra; and Chobani founder, President and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya.
Obama noted that some of the meeting participants were immigrants and, like generations that came before them, they sought a brighter future and help to create a stronger American economy.
“We have a system in which we bring outstanding young people from all across the world to educate them here, and unfortunately, too often, we send them right back so that they can start companies or help to grow companies somewhere else instead of here,” Obama said. “We have a situation in which millions of individuals are in the shadow economy, oftentimes exploited at lower wages, and that hurts those companies that are following the rules, because they end up being at a disadvantage to some of these less scrupulous companies. And so, all of us I think recognize that now is the time to get comprehensive immigration reform done.”
Additionally, the president said immigration reform would bolster the American economy. A report released by the Congressional Budget Office suggested that immigration reform could promote economic growth and reduce the national deficit.