ICYMI: From Utah to Illinois to D.C., BBB Leaders Voice Support for Immigration Reform

Assistant Director of Communications

July 19, 2013

In Case You Missed It: From Utah to Illinois to D.C., BBB Leaders Voice Support for Immigration Reform

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the immigration reform debate heats up in the House of Representatives, leaders from faith, law enforcement and business communities across the country are gathering in support of reform. These leaders are making their voices heard to stress the benefits of immigration and to ensure their members of Congress know where they stand.

On Wednesday, Illinois business, faith and law enforcement leaders met at the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce to discuss the critical need for immigration reform and urge their congressional delegation to take an active role in finding solutions. The Illinois Business Immigration Coalition (IBIC), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Bibles, Badges and Business (BBB) network gathered representatives from the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, the Illinois Farm Bureau, Caterpillar Inc., the Christian Community Development Association and the Hispanic Ministries of the Diocese of Springfield to discuss the economic benefits of a commonsense immigration system across sectors, in addition to the moral and security imperatives for reform.

Meanwhile, in an op-ed published Wednesday in Utah’s Deseret News, Jesus Loya, a former DREAMer and Manager of Investment Operations for the Park City Angel Network, shared his support for Sen. Orrin Hatch’s yes vote on immigration reform and wrote about the urgency for reform in the House. “It took Sen. Hatch a long time to come back to a ‘yes’ on immigration reform,” Loya wrote. “But he has done so, and not a moment too soon … Quite simply, we need a new immigration process that encourages entrepreneurship, ingenuity and pursuit of the American dream.”

Another strong op-ed ran last weekend in the Arizona Republic. Nan Stockholm Walden, vice president of Farmers Investment Company in Sahuarita, Ariz., and the Rev. Chris Schutte, rector at Christ Church Anglican in Phoenix, wrote about both the promise and the urgent need for immigration reform that includes the opportunity for aspiring Americans to earn citizenship.

And today, top law enforcement officials met with Vice President Joe Biden at the White House to reiterate the importance of immigration reform for keeping our communities safe. In this closed-door meeting, they continued emphasize how broad immigration reform would help our law enforcement agents protect our borders and our communities while respecting the rule of law and offering the opportunity for undocumented immigrants who currently reside in the shadows to earn citizenship.

Finally, a BBB Central Kentucky Roundtable in Lexington on Friday brought together local leaders in government, business, agriculture and the immigrant community. “Approving immigration reform will have a tremendous positive impact on our economy and on small businesses around Lexington,” said Freddy Peralta, owner of the Kentucky Trade Company. “It will have a tremendous economic impact when people say, ‘I need to invest in my future, and my future is here, as an American.’ ”

This week’s Bibles, Badges and Business events set the stage for a slew of events around the country in coming weeks, particularly during Congress’ August recess. “House lawmakers already realize they must take action on immigration reform,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. “Already, they’re getting support from leaders who hold a Bible, wear a badge or own a business. Across the country, these leaders are asking them to do what is right on immigration and act in the best interest of our nation’s economy, security and human dignity.”