In First Week of August Recess, Momentum for Immigration Reform Reignited

August 9, 2013

​Nationwide Bibles, Badges and Business Campaign Begins in the Midwest and West

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Bibles, Badges and Business leaders are taking on the August recess with a flurry of Roundtables for Reform throughout the Midwest and West. Below are a few samples of the growing nationwide momentum from this week. For more updates from the field, visit www.BBBwinsAugust.com.

First Week’s Events Show Strong Support from Local Coalitions

Events in Glendale, Ariz., Bloomington, Ill., and Greeley, Colo., kicked off the month, building momentum for immigration reform in key congressional districts. The #BBBwinsAugust events are engaging leaders in local faith, law enforcement and business communities and members of Congress on the importance of passing commonsense immigration legislation that simultaneously respects the rule of law, shows compassion and strengthens our economy.

Alongside business and faith leaders at the Glendale Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, former Phoenix Police Chief, Jack Harris expressed the urgent need for reform from a law enforcement perspective. “The bottom line is that our communities are less safe under the current immigration system and I, as a career law enforcement officer, am calling on Congress to help me keep our community safe by reforming the system now,” Harris said.

The next day, a roundtable at the McLean County Chamber of Commerce in Bloomington featured local business and faith voices. “The immigration system is broken,” said Ben Taylor, Director at the Great Lakes Region of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “We can choose to ignore the 11 million people that are already here and already working and part of our economy, or we can choose to face the problem and find a workable solution.”

The event was co-sponsored by the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition (IBIC), the Great Lakes Region of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Farm Bureau on Wednesday. For the August recess, the IBIC has launched the “Illinois’ Road To Recovery” campaign. Also at the event, Reverend Father Anthony Lee of Holy Trinity Catholic Church added that beyond the economic benefits of reform, immigration “is a question of human dignity. We can look at numbers and statistics, but we can forget that these people we’re talking about have families.”

In Colorado, events in Greeley Thursday and Pueblo today are engaging business, faith and law enforcement leaders with the offices of Congressmen Cory Gardner and Scott Tipton. At a Greeley media availability, Jeremy Williamson of Pathways Church in Denver reiterated, “There is a fresh passion rising among Christians across the U.S. around the issue of immigration. We believe to our core that each of us has been equally created in the image of God, even if we are separated by lines on maps drawn by men. Every person is eminently valuable and should be treated respectfully by the laws of the land.”

Republican House Members Endorse Path to Citizenship

Already, we are seeing results from these local recess events as more and more Republican members of Congress add their voices to the growing chorus of support for a tough but fair path to citizenship. This week alone, Congressman Daniel Webster of Florida and Congressman Dave Reichert of Washington have stated their support for a path to citizenship that holds people accountable but provides them with a road out of the shadows.

UPCOMING: Entrepreneurs Discuss Immigration with Rep. Heck at SXSW

At the SXSW V2V event in Las Vegas on Monday, Mark Falzone, Deputy Director of the National Immigration Forum will moderate a panel titled America’s Entrepreneurial Spirit: The Case for Fixing our Broken Immigration System, featuring Congressman Joe Heck (R-NV); Alex Torrenegra , CEO of VoiceBunny; Andrew Crump, CEO of Bluefields; and Scott Allison, CEO of Teamly Inc.

With immigration as one of the top policy issues affecting entrepreneurship and the technology industry today, these CEOs are calling on Congress to pass comprehensive reform that addresses the key issues facing the tech and business communities. Congressman Joe Heck (R) will join this group of experts to discuss what lies ahead for immigration reform.

Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, said, “There’s no doubt that local leaders are coming out strong in support of legislators who are working toward commonsense reform. This first week shows that momentum for reform is only growing and a groundswell of support for immigration reform will carry members of Congress back to D.C. in September.”