White House staffers share their immigration stories


"The White House, like nearly every other American office, is full of staffers whose stories started in countries all over the world," Megan Slack, the Deputy Director of Digital Content, said of the video in a statement. "We asked some of them to share their own immigration stories, and explain why they think it’s so important to fix our broken immigration system once and for all."

In one excerpt, Tina Tchen, the chief of staff to first lady Michelle Obama, speaks about the role of immigration in boosting the economy. Tchen's parents fled Communist China in the 1940s.

"Our own competitiveness, our strength as a nation, our ability to have new innovation, be at the cutting edge and leading the world is at stake as well because the talent that comes into the United States and the drive and ambition to build new things and build new companies and find new technologies also comes from immigrants," Tchen said.

The video comes on the heels of an event Tuesday morning where President Obama urged the Senate to quickly pass the immigration plan.

"If you're serious about actually fixing the system, then this is the vehicle to do it," Obama said. "If you're not serious about it — if you think a broken system is the best America can do, then I guess it makes sense to block it."

The White House hopes the president can build momentum for the bill; if the Senate passes the bill by a large margin, there will be greater pressure on the Republican-controlled House to act.

But some lawmakers have suggested Obama's interference could ultimately hurt the bill's prospect.

"The biggest obstacle to passing common sense immigration reform is President Barack Obama," Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told ABC News on Monday.

Cruz also suggested Obama had designed the immigration bill, which includes a pathway to citizenship for the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants, to fail in the House as leverage it for political gain.

"It is designed for it to sail through the Senate and then crash in the House to let the president go and campaign in 2014 on this issue," Cruz said.