Desi techie Geetha Vallabhaneni is Obama mascot on immigration

WASHINGTON: Citing the example of an Indian entrepreneur Geetha Vallabhaneni, whose Green Card saga underscores the tormented lives of immigrant aspirants and the pot of gold at the end of the economic rainbow, President Obama on Monday sought to shift attention from the health care fiasco to his other great battle, immigration reform.


It didn’t work great at an event in San Francisco, California, where the President’s advisers thought he’d find support and solace over an issue many immigrants are exercised about, in what was meant to be a tactical retreat from the drubbing he is receiving in Washington DC over health care debacle.

Earlier, Obama was introduced at the event by Indian immigrant Geetha Vallabhaneni, founder and chief executive of San Jose-based Luminix, who spoke about the 12 years it took to get her green card, and how she started a tech company after becoming a permanent resident. Obama picked on the theme to highlight how the US “invites the brightest minds from around the world to study here – many of them enrolled in the University of California system – and then we don’t invite them to stay.” The president called on the House to act on immigration reform and said he supports legislation that would beef up border security, and for those in the US illegally, an “earned path to citizenship.”