POTUS told a group of government and private sector leaders that even as he seeks to bolster security at the southern border, he wants to bring in more immigrants to address a labor shortage.

We now have a travel lid at 5:31 p.m.
 
POTUS earlier told a group of government and private sector leaders that even as he seeks to bolster security at the southern border, he wants to bring in more immigrants to address a labor shortage. “We want to have a very strong border but we want to have a lot of people coming in,” he said. “A lot of people don’t understand that. They think were shutting it down. We’re not shutting it down. We want people to come in, but they have to come in through a process.”
 
He noted that many companies were having a hard time finding employees. “We’re going to let a lot of people come in because we need workers. They have to have workers,” he said. He cited low unemployment statistics. “In one way, I love it. But in another way, I don’t want to make it hard for you.”
 
His comments came as he stopped by the first meeting of his American Workforce Policy Advisory Board. He joined a couple dozen corporate executives, governors and others gathered around four tables set up in rectangular fashion in the State Dining Room. He sat between Ivanka Trump and Apple’s Tim Cook, with the portrait of Abraham Lincoln hanging on the wall overlooking the president. VPOTUS and Secretary Wilbur Ross sat opposite them.
 
Ivanka Trump, who is leading the effort along with Secretary Ross, introduced her father. “I’d like to thank you, Mr. President, for being here and for your steadfast commitment to a pro-growth economic agenda that is creating tremendous opportunity for all Americans,” she said.
 
She described what the group had been working on and the need to increase participation in the workforce. 
 
“And now, Mr. President,” she said, “I turn the floor over to you.”
 
“So formal!” POTUS said, grasping her hand as she smiled. He then praised her for doing a great job. “A special person. She’s worked so hard as you all know.”
 
He invited everyone around the table to introduce themselves and make short remarks. They praised POTUS and expressed enthusiasm for the economy. Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, said his organization’s annual poll found optimism among manufacturers at 91.8 percent, a record high. 
 
But they also made the point to POTUS that the labor shortage is becoming an increasingly serious challenge.
 
“We have jobs looking for people,” said Gov. Kim Reynolds of Iowa.
 
“Now finding qualified labor is the biggest problem,” said Juanita Duggan, president and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business. “They can’t find applicants for their jobs. This has become a crisis. It’s not sustainable.”
 
Businesses used to have a problem accessing capital, said Johnny C. Taylor Jr., president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Now, he said, “They have a problem accessing human capital. That’s a high class problem.”
The list of participants and the White House description of the board and its work was sent out in a previous pool report.
 
Have a great night!
 

The White House Press Pool

Produced by members of the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA), these brief Pool Reports track American president. The White House Press Pool is composed of the members of the White House...