Obama meets with young immigrants in reform push

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"It was really about exchanging stories," one woman said, adding that Obama had emphasied the "value of storytelling to break through the hearts and minds."

Those at the meeting said the policy was not as much about policy of legislative timelines as hearing about the individual struggles facing each person grappling with the country's immigration system. They said that Obama told the group to share their stories with members of Congress in hopes of building support for a reform bill.

In a statement, the White House said "their stories are a good reminder that immigration isn’t just a policy issue, but it’s about our families, our communities and it’s about our common future."

"The President and the Vice President were moved by the stories of courage and determination of these young immigrants and their families," the White House said. "The Dreamers shared how their lives have been positively affected by the deferred action process and emphasized that they and their families need a permanent solution that will allow them to fully contribute to the country they call home."

The DREAM Act was a legislative proposal that would provide permanent residency to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children and either enlisted in the military or graduated from college. The bill was not able to pass Congress, but in 2012, President Obama ordered Immigration and Customs Enforcement to exercise prosecutorial discretion. Under the new policy directive, ICE places a low priority on targeting illegal immigrants that have similar characteristics.