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Obama quietly moving on immigration reform

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Obama meets with grass-roots leaders on immigration reform
  • President says he supports bipartisan process for reform
  • Border security requires comprehensive immigration reform, Obama says

Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama on Monday met with grass-roots leaders Monday afternoon to discuss immigration reform, the White House said.

Obama told those at the meeting that he wants to see a bipartisan process for immigration reform based on a proposal presented in the Senate that addresses the need to secure the border and demands accountability from both workers who are in the United States illegally and employers who take advantage of the system, the White House said.

True border security requires comprehensive immigration reform, Obama said. The president will give a speech soon on the importance of passing that reform, the White House said.

The president also reiterated his views against the recently passed immigration law in Arizona, which the Justice Department is reviewing.

"Today, we strongly requested for the president to assert his leadership and escalate his efforts to assure comprehensive immigration reform legislation is enacted in 2010," Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum and meeting attendee, said in a statement. "From our meeting, it is clear that the president is committed to comprehensive immigration reform and understands that congressional action is needed urgently."

Other topics discussed at the meeting included concerns that the grass-roots leaders had about reforms to current detention and deportation procedures, Noorani said.

Monday's meeting comes on the heels of a number of immigration movements that have been quietly percolating over the last 48 hours.

Sources outside the White House point to National Security Adviser for Homeland Security John Brennan's meeting with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, which is scheduled to take place as early as Monday in Arizona.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano also has recently introduced a number of border security initiatives.

CNN's Suzanne Malveaux and Dan Lothian contributed to this report.