President Obama’s senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett held a series of meetings with illegal immigrant activists during Obama’s first term and concluded that “They are the best that we have.”
Jarrett, a Chicago-era mentor to Obama and wife Michelle, is currently fighting to pass immigration reform legislation, in her words, “this summer.”
“I had met, maybe, a year-and-a-half ago, with about Four Dream Act kids,” Jarrett said in a 2012 conversation with Walter Isaacson at the 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival, video of which was posted by The Aspen Institute in 2014.
“I call them kids. They’re actually young adults,” Jarrett said. “They walked from Florida to Washington. Walked. And they wanted to see the president. And of course they couldn’t come into the White House because they’re here illegally, and they would have been picked up. And so I ventured across the street, across the park, to a church and I met them in the church. And I’ve now met with them four or five times. And each time I would leave in tears. Because they are exactly the kind of people we would want in this country.”
“They are the best that we have,” Jarrett later added.
The young illegal immigrants that Jarrett met with off the record include Felipe Matos, Gaby Pacheco, Juan Rodriguez, and Carlos Roa, TheDC has independently verified. The four walked from Miami to Washington, D.C. as part of the 2010 “Trail of Dreams” program sponsored by Students Working for Equal Rights and the Florida Immigrant Coalition, among other groups.