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President of National Action Network Al Sharpton (left to right), LA City Council President Eric Garcetti, Charles Ramsey, Chief of Police of Philadelphia, and Bill Bratton, former police chief of Los Angeles and of New York City, walk toward the podium after a meeting with President Barack Obama on immigration at the White House on April 19, 2011.
In what was described as a “last-minute meeting,” President Obama met at the White House on Tuesday with 70 labor, law enforcement and political leaders, including former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the current president of the Los Angeles City Council. The topic – immigration – hasn’t placed high on the list of Congressional priorities.
Los Angeles was well represented in the White House immigration meeting. LA County Sheriff Lee Baca was there with current and former LA police chiefs Charlie Beck and Bill Bratton.
LA City Council President Eric Garcetti said the president issued a “good call to arms” for shared effort on immigration reform. Garcetti said the president admitted it was "not going to be easy," but he wouldn't abandon the topic.
"(The president) said, 'this is not going to be easy, but I am not going to abandon this. I’m going to be alongside you, but I can’t do this by myself. And that we have to change the conversation. We have to get back to a place where we humanize and recognize the contributions of immigrants,'" said Garcetti.
Last year, the US Senate failed to pass the Dream Act. It would have created a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who attend college or serve in the military. Garcetti said the president didn’t want that legislation to be Washington’s last word on immigration reform.
Immigration activists plan a protest Thursday night outside Sony Studios in Culver City where Obama is hosting a political fundraiser.