Oct 9, 7:05 PM EDT

Obama: GOP immigration stance political 'suicide'

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SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) -- President Barack Obama says Republican opposition to an immigration overhaul amounts to political "suicide." He says the party risks losing support from an entire generation of immigrants.

Obama says smart Republicans understand the political damage of such a stance. But he says the GOP faces pressure from the tea party and others who, quote, "oftentimes express virulently anti-immigrant sentiment."

Obama spoke to a group of young entrepreneurs in Santa Monica, California, where he was promoting his economic policies.

Obama also told his largely high-tech audience that the U.S. needs an influx of highly skilled immigrants to keep the American workforce young.

He says that because House Republicans have not acted, he will act on his own to reduce deportations and increase work permits for immigrants after the November election.

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