Indian American Entrepreneur Introduces Obama in SF


By Indiawest

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif, United States

Immigration reform is widely popular among Democrats, as well as some of President Barack Obama’s Silicon Valley donors, who have long lamented federal rules that bar them from hiring top talent trained in the United States but without the ability to work here.

To underscore that point, the president during a West Coast fundraising swing was introduced Nov. 25 at the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center in the Chinatown neighborhood here by Geetha Vallabhaneni, who after waiting 12 years for a green card went on to found Luminix, a software firm.
Obama said a quarter of the foreign-born population in the United States in 2011 came from Asian countries, and more than a million of the 11 million immigrants in the United States illegally are from Asia.
According to CNN, immigration reform is “within our grasp, if we can convince folks in Washington to just do what needs to be done,” Obama said, pointing to a measure passed by the Senate earlier this year that garnered bipartisan support.
That Senate measure, passed by a large majority in June, included an eventual pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants that hinged upon strict new border security provisions. The bill, the work of a Senate gang of four Democrats and four Republicans, earned strong backing from the White House but wasn’t taken up in the House, where some conservatives allege the citizenship clause amounts to amnesty for immigrants in the U.S. illegally.
Republican leaders in the House have said they’ll take up individual immigration measures instead of the comprehensive legislation the White House says it prefers. Obama last week told a group of business chiefs he would be open to some piecemeal measures, as long as they change the aspects of the nation’s immigration system that he’s pushing for.
“It’s not smart,” Obama said of the current laws. “It’s not fair. It doesn’t make sense. And we have kicked this can down the road long enough.”
The president’s speech was dramatically interrupted by hecklers in a reserved seating section who urged him to halt deportations, of which his administration has conducted a record number.