Immigration Roundtable In Champaign Highlights Need for Commonsense Immigration Reform

Digital Communications Manager

August 14, 2013

Champaign, Ill. — Business, faith and law enforcement leaders met today for a roundtable discussion on the need to push commonsense immigration reform. The conversation continued the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition’s “Illinois’ Road to Recovery” campaign, which brings together local voices to demonstrate to the Illinois congressional delegation that they need to move forward on commonsense immigration reform that the Illinois economy needs and voters want.

The Illinois Business Immigration Coalition (IBIC) was joined by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform network at the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce for a conversation about why the Champaign-Urbana community and Illinois economy need commonsense immigration reform

“I will suggest as a Republican – Republicans are losing ground in this state because of our view as a party on immigration. This is hurting the party, and we need to be more open as a party on immigration,” said Dave Bender, Chairman of the Logan County Republican Party, Executive Director of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois and Co-Chair of the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition.

“Immigration reform reduces our deficit, ensures economic growth and sends a message of who we are as a community and as a nation,” added Mike Doyle, Executive Director of the University YMCA in Champaign.

Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran pointed out the challenges that the law enforcement community would continue to face because of budgetary constraints without commonsense immigration reform: “From a law enforcement standpoint, the future has to be about community policing. Community policing will only work if the community works with you; it will not work when there is a fear of potentially being deported.”

Faith leaders highlighted the biblical argument for a moral and compassionate approach to reforming our broken immigration system. “The faith community deeply cares about keeping families together. This is not the way God intends for us to live together. We need to do better,” said Pastor Janet Rasmussen of First Mennonite Church in Champaign-Urbana.