Three Weeks Into August Recess, BBB Shaping Local Conversation on Immigration

Digital Communications Manager

August 23, 2013

Washington, D.C. — Well into the third week of the August recess, “Roundtables for Reform” organized by the Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform network continue to capture headlines in key districts across the country.  

From Illinois to Texas to Idaho, our nation’s faith, business and law enforcement leaders are making a splash in their home districts and driving the conversation on immigration reform. Whether it’s through an op-ed in the Waco Tribune (Texas) or a story covering a Roundtable for Reform in Champaign, Ill., Congress and voters are reading and hearing of the Bibles, Badges and Business push to support commonsense reform that grows the economy, keeps communities safe and is compassionate.

“Moderate and conservative leaders have stepped up throughout August to urge immigration reform through local roundtables, in the media and through ad buys,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director at the National Immigration Forum. “From the dozens of Bibles, Badges and Business Roundtables for Reform in key districts, to the Evangelical Immigration Table’s $400,000 radio ad buy this week which generated 120 news hits nationwide – Congress is hearing the message loud and clear: the time is now for reform.”

The following are the top stories from this past week. Stay up to date at and on Twitter at #BBBwinsAugust.


Associated Press:  Coalition of Evangelicals launches ad campaign in key congressional districts

A coalition of Evangelical groups, including the Southern Baptist Convention, hopes to give an earful to key congressional lawmakers about immigration reform. The Evangelical Immigration Table, formed last year, has launched a $400,000 radio ad campaign in 56 congressional districts. The ads will feature local pastors and national voices encouraging passage of immigration reform without delay. Dr. Barrett Duke of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission says the ads will air for two weeks “at saturation rates.

New York Times: Catholic Push to Overhaul Immigration Goes to Pews

For some Republican members, vocal support by local priests and bishops could provide the religious rationale they need to support an overhaul in the face of criticism from conservatives. “The connection between a pastor and their congregation is really like nothing else in society,” said Ali Noorani, the executive director of the National Immigration Forum.

Washington Post: Here’s what it looks like when a conservative Republican wants immigration reform

GOP Rep. John Carter of Texas is a member of the House gang of seven, which is set to unveil a compromise this year with citizenship and strict conditions. He is a border state conservative who opposed reform last time. And in a press conference that was reported on by the Kildeen Daily Herald, he made this case: “Part of what’s wrong with our immigration system is that we keep trying to patch it up,” Carter said. “We need comprehensive reform.”


Santa Cruz Sentinel: Immigration bill advocates make a big August push

An unusual alliance of advocates — including Internet moguls and evangelicals, representatives of big business and labor unions — is working across the country during the August congressional recess in an all-out push for immigration reform.


Idaho Statesman: Idaho businesses, organizations push for immigration reform

Idaho businesses and trade organizations are seeking immigration reform as a way to keep needed workers, fill jobs and offer security to hard-working families who lack legal status.


Illinois Public Media: GOP, Faith, Law Enforcement Leaders Push For Immigration Reform

A diverse group has brought a plea for common sense immigration reform to Champaign. The speakers in a Wednesday panel hosted by the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce say they’re optimistic about a compromise after Congress returns from recess. They included Logan County Republican Party Chair Dave Bender, who suggested the GOP could take a lesson from Democrats, who have a wide area of views on immigration, while some Republicans are labeled as ultra-conservative.

Kane County Chronicle: Panel talks immigration reform in Geneva

Having been born just a few miles away from the Texas-Mexico border, Noel Castellanos knows how his life could have been different had he been born in Mexico instead of in the United States. The pastor and CEO of the Christian Community Development Association said he has worked to improve the lives of his fellow Mexican-Americans. But none of his efforts could fix problems stemming from immigration issues, he said. (Editorial): Keep the Sauk Valley a good place to do business

Obviously, the Sauk Valley community is adapting well to an increasingly diverse population mix, and it must continue to do so to ensure our region’s future. In that vein, we note that one morning last week, business, law enforcement and faith leaders gathered downstate for a forum organized by the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce to discuss immigration reform. The event continued an “Illinois Road to Recovery” campaign in which the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition is hosting events around the state.


Des Moines Register (Dinnen, Salamanca and Harrington Op-Ed): Time to move past words on immigration reform

On no other policy issue could you find such a cross-section of Iowans on the same side — at the Ames event were leaders from both business and labor unions; members of Iowa’s growing Latino community and Iowans with roots going back 150 years; farm interests and representatives of dairy and meatpacking industries; and an array of faith denominations.


The Wichita Eagle: Many in Kansas anxiously await outcome of immigration policy reform

Back home in Kansas, Moran’s “no” vote – along with Sen. Pat Roberts’ – reflected at least part of the get-tough, no-amnesty attitudes shared by many Kansans. But it bewildered some business leaders who have been pushing for some kind of reform that makes more workers available to the plants, ranches and farms across western Kansas. “The business coalition was very disappointed,” said Allie Devine, one of the leaders of the Kansas Coalition for Immigration Reform.


Killeen Daily Herald: Carter talks to media about immigration reform

U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, held a news conference Monday on the subject of immigration reform. Carter spoke to members of the media at the Central Texas Council of Governments building in Belton after a meeting with representatives from area businesses and leaders of local evangelical churches. Both groups, Carter said, had questions about legislative efforts to reform the country’s immigration system.

Waco Tribune (Hammond Op-Ed): Comprehensive immigration reform a must for Texas business

Texas is on the front line of the current immigration debate. We have seen firsthand the cost of a broken border and the toll it can have on citizens and immigrants alike. There also has been a toll on Texas businesses that can only be removed by Congress and the president putting into place comprehensive immigration reform.