Immigration Reform Debate Kicks Off With Bibles, Badges and Business Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill

Digital Communications Manager

June 12, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, just a day after the Senate started debating the immigration reform bill on the floor, over a hundred Bibles, Badges and Business leaders from across the country are descending on Capitol Hill to urge their Senators to vote “yes” on S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.

The BBB to DC Day of Action kicked off with a morning breakfast where half a dozen influential leaders including Gov. Haley Barbour, Steve Case and Sen. Chuck Schumer praised the continued bipartisan momentum that has been driving immigration reform forward and urged the nation’s faith, law enforcement and business leaders to ramp up their efforts to pass reform that is compassionate, keeps our communities secure and grows the economy.

“If we don’t get this done now, in 10 years we are going to have problems that are twice as big as the problems we have now. If you want a solution, this is the process,” said keynote speaker Haley Barbour, Former Governor of Mississippi, Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Policy Institute Immigration Task Force and Founding Partner of BGR Group. “My great grandfather came here from Ireland as a teenager fleeing the potato famine. He came here to work. That is so essential about America. People didn’t come here because they were going to be given prosperity; they came here to work and earn it.”

“Now is the time for Republicans and Democrats to come together and pass comprehensive immigration reform,” said Steve Case, Chairman and CEO of Revolution LLC and Co-Founder of America Online. “Winning the global battle for talent is critical to America’s long-term economic competitiveness. It can only be done once we bring our immigration system into the 21st century. I’m hopeful that Congress will do the right thing to ensure that we remain the world’s hub of innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Prominent law enforcement and faith leaders emphasized the need for compassionate immigration reform that keeps our communities safe.

“Fifty years after the historic march on Washington, our nation can answer the call or turn the proverbial deaf ear to the millions calling for a just solution for immigration reform,” said Carlos Moran, Board Member at the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. “Now is the time to protect the God-given dignity of every person.”

“The faith perspective led to clarity on a law enforcement perspective,” added Mark Curran, Sheriff of Lake County, Ill. “We need people to feel comfortable to talk with their officer. When a police officer is on their way, we can’t have people run the other way. That is not the way to solve crimes.”

Throughout the day, delegations of Bibles, Badges and Business leaders are scheduled to meet with about 75 members of Congress and their staffs to highlight not only the talent that immigrants contribute to the American economy and communities, but also to share the poignant stories of immigrants who are working hard to achieve the American Dream.

“My American story is one of hard work and perseverance, but it is not unique—I feel compelled to share it on behalf of the millions of aspiring young Americans, like me, who want to give back to the only country they know and love,” said Jesus Loya, a former DREAMer and Manager of Investment Operations, Park City Angel Network, Park City, Utah. “That’s why I’m here: to make sure that stories like mine are told, and to help ensure Congress knows that Americans are calling on them to fix our broken immigration system once and for all.”

The message that will echo throughout the halls of Congress this afternoon is a simple one: For our nation’s faith, law enforcement and business communities, it is absolutely urgent that the Senate pass broad immigration reform such as S. 744.

“Immigration is an issue supported by leaders across the political spectrum,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director at the National Immigration Forum. “All of us are here because we want an immigration system that will meet the needs of our future.”

“At the end of the day we all have one goal,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). “We will pass a bill that creates a legal immigration system worthy of this great nation, one that restores faith in the United States.”