JPMorgan CEO: 'Legalizing undocumented immigrants' is right thing

JPMorgan CEO: 'Legalizing undocumented immigrants' is right thing

The CEO of the country's largest bank said Monday that immigration is one of the "right things" for the next president to focus on.

"What I worry about more is the next president, whoever it is, focuses on the right things. Those right things I think are proper immigration reform, proper infrastructure spending ... corporate tax reform," Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, told CNBC.

"I would also expand things like the earned income tax credit to help the lower paid," he said.

Asked whether there is an immigration problem in the United States, Dimon referenced the failed bipartisan Gang of Eight bill that passed the Senate in 2013 but was never brought to a vote on the House floor. That bill, said Dimon, "dealt with properly securing the border, proper pathway to legalizing undocumented immigrants."

Dimon discussed two categories of immigrants: undocumented immigrants and foreign students.

"Most of them have jobs, most of them are doing fine," Dimon said of undocumented immigrants. "And it would take like 13 to 15 years," for those immigrants to achieve legal status under present laws, Dimon said.

"All these kids who come from around the world, who get advanced degrees, you know, our best universities in the world, science, technology, and we send them home," Dimon said of foreign students. Students with advanced degrees are allowed to work in the United States for a year after graduation but then have to request visas, a process that can be expensive and complex.

"Let them stay, let them build companies. A lot of these companies were built by immigrants," said Dimon, speaking from California. Some of the most recognizable names in Silicon Valley were founded, in whole or in part, by immigrants, including Google, Yahoo, Facebook and eBay.

Dimon granted the interview during an annual road trip he takes "to see customers and employees."