Berkeley City Council member meets with Obama

Berkeley City Councilmember Jesse Arreguin traveled to Washington, D.C., today in order to attend an intimate reception with the president and meet with members of his administration.

According to a statement released by his office, Arreguin was one of a few members from the Young Elected Officials Network invited to the White House to discuss important local and state issues with President Barack Obama.

Anthony Sanchez, Arreguin’s chief of staff, said Arreguin arrived in the capitol around 11 a.m. this morning and was immediately led to a series of policy briefings with Obama administration officials before heading to the reception with the president.

“I hope to relay to the President the concerns and issues of our community, such as the need to address unemployment, harmful cuts to Pell Grants and housing and community development funding, the need for climate change legislation which invests in renewable energy and green jobs, and the immediate need for immigration reform in light of the high levels of devastating deportations and what’s happening in our own backyard with the impending audit of I-9 forms of workers at Pacific Steel,” Arreguin said in the statement.

The Pacific Steel Casting Company, a steel plant located in West Berkeley, will be subject to an employment eligibility audit from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement — the investigative branch of the Department of Homeland Security — which will evaluate the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9s submitted by the company’s employees. This follows an immigration enforcement strategy implemented by the department in April 2009 after a recommendation from Obama and is an area with which Arreguin has cited concern.

Full story to follow.

J.D. Morris is an assistant news editor.