President Barack Obama says the contributions Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made to the U.S. underscore the need to overhaul the nation’s immigration system.
Obama was speaking at a White House event marking Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. He lauded Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for helping build and defend the United States, and he called for immigration laws that would respect that history.
A White House-backed immigration overhaul is working its way through Congress. The bill would remake immigration laws, enhance border security and put the estimated 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally on a path to citizenship.
The president also recalled his personal connections to Asian and Pacific cultures, including his years growing up in Hawaii and Indonesia.