A Super Tuesday Message from Local Leaders: America Is Better When We Address Immigrants with Compassion

Communications Associate

March 1, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Moderate and conservative local leaders are embracing a conversation on immigrants and immigration that leads with freedom, not fear.

At roundtables and panels around the country in the past five weeks, local leaders again have acknowledged the important contributions of immigrants as well as the need for empathy and compassion.

“I can’t believe it’s 2016 and we are still talking about orphaning children and separating families,” Tony Suarez, Executive Vice President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), said Monday at a roundtable in Norfolk, Va. “I’m involved in this issue because I saw families being torn apart, children left without their parents. We need to honor the human being over the label of immigrant.”

The Norfolk event was the latest of more than 20 on the “America Is Better: Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform” calendar, which also has included efforts in Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas. Michigan and Florida events are scheduled for Thursday and Saturday, with more in coming weeks.

And three new Forum immigration primers indicate how crucial immigrants are to economies and communities in Super Tuesday states Colorado, Texas and Virginia.

“Fear fires up the base, but most voters understand that we need constructive and compassionate answers on immigration,” said Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum. “Local conservative leaders are saying that America is better when we talk about freedom and respect, not hate.

“Americans recognize that immigration needs to be about people, not politics. Candidates need to recognize this too.”