Biden says immigration is crucial for U.S. innovation

BY Associated Press  May 3, 2014 at 3:33 PM EST

MIAMI — Vice President Joe Biden has extolled immigration as crucial to American innovation at a graduation ceremony in South Florida.

A procession of international flags before Saturday’s ceremony at Miami Dade College drew cheers from the crowd of 2,000 graduates and their families. Biden acknowledged that he was addressing many immigrants and the children and grandchildren of immigrants.

Biden said a “constant, substantial stream of immigrants” is important to the American economy. He said the country has to “bring 11 million people” living in the U.S. illegally “out of the shadows and put them on a path to citizenship.”

After the ceremony, Biden met privately with local Caribbean-American business leaders to discuss immigration issues.

This report was written by Associated Press reporter Jennifer Kay. Follow her on Twitter @jnkay.