President Barack Obama spoke to some of the country’s top business leaders on Wednesday and spent much of the conversation encouraging them to support his push for immigration reform.
Speaking at an event hosted by the Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs of major US companies, Obama noted one benefit immigration brings to the business community: global competitiveness.
“Just in terms of macroeconomics, this is something that’s not a sexy argument to make to the public, but we are younger than our competitors and that is entirely because of immigration,” Obama said.
He then contrasted the US approach towards immigration with that of major countries in Europe and Asia.
“And when you look at the problems that China, Japan, Europe, Russia are all going to have, a lot of it just has to do with — they are getting old. And we stay young because we’re constantly being replenished by these striving families from around the world and we should want that to continue,” he added.
Obama, who recently issued an executive action shielding millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation, praised the Business Roundtable for having a “terrific” position on the issue. However, the president noted his immigration reform efforts still face widespread opposition from Republicans who will control both houses of Congress for the final two years of his term.
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