University presidents say immigration reform needed to boost innovation

The three officials plan to host events on April 19 at their schools that underscore "the role of immigration in driving innovation and creating American jobs, and the frustrations we experience when U.S. immigration laws." The letter was signed by Arizona State University President Michael Crow, Cornell University President David Skorton and Miami Dade College President Eduardo Padron.

"We invite you to join us on this day with your own campus events, in hopes that, by speaking with one coordinated voice, we can bring our message to the public and to our representatives in Washington, D.C.," the officials wrote.

The officials are working with the immigration advocacy group National Immigration Forum and the Partnership for a New American Economy, a coalition of top business leaders and mayors, to launch the events at their schools.

Passing comprehensive immigration reform is a top priority for the White House this year. Both chambers of Congress are hammering away on legislation aimed at overhauling the nation's immigration rules.

Despite the momentum behind crafting legislation, the road to passing a bill will not be smooth. Many thorny issues about immigration reform need to be ironed out, such as whether there should be a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already living in the U.S.