IW UPDATE - BUSINESS GRASSROOTS
 
May 21, 2013
 
EVENTS AND SPEECHES

U.S. Chamber of Commerce holds Washington immigration summit
April 26, 2013

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce held a half-day conference in Washington. Business leaders and government officials discussed pending immigration reform legislation, the economic benefits of immigration and what business can do to support reform in coming months. Speakers included Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, Rep. Ted Poe and former CBO Director Doug Holtz-Eakin . . .
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Illinois CEOs launch new immigration coalition
April 1, 2013

Executives from Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions and the Exelon Corporation are partnering with Illinois trade groups, immigration rights advocates and the University of Illinois to form the Illinois Business Coalition. At the kick-off event, Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman explained how immigration reform would help his company fill high and low-skilled manufacturing jobs. Exelon Corporation chairman emeritus John Rowe urged Congress to pass legislation that “rebuilds the economy, meets business needs and provides a path to citizenship” . . .
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Americas Society CEO panel discusses immigration and economic growth
March 7, 2013

A panel of CEOs and policy experts sponsored by the New York-based Americas Society explained how comprehensive immigration reform will benefit the U.S. economy. Panelists urged Congress to pass reform that addresses market-based labor needs, promotes growth and competitiveness and helps U.S. companies attract and retain global talent . . .
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ImmigrationWorks USA holds employer briefings for congressional staffers
March 2013

ImmigrationWorks sponsored a series of briefings for congressional staffers: panels of employers from across the U.S. explaining why they hire immigrants and how these workers help them keep their businesses open and contributing to the economy. Panelists included a Georgia restaurateur, a manager of Colorado vacation rentals, the vice president of a Maryland construction company, a senior vice president at a large Midwest hospital and a Pennsylvania dairy farmer . . .
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Orange County business leaders call for immigration reform
April 5, 2013

California business leaders participated in a Costa Mesa press conference cosponsored by the National Immigration Forum’s “Bibles, Badges and Business” initiative. Among the speakers: Western Growers Association president and CEO Tom Nassif. His message: “Immigration reform . . . would improve the welfare of farm workers and their families” . . .
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Utah Chamber hosts immigration panel with state officials
April 19, 2013

The Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce hosted a panel of business and political leaders discussing how immigration reform will help Utah. Participants included former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, Utah State Sen. Luz Robles and Jason Mathis, executive director of the Downtown Alliance. Among the topics covered: how reform will benefit the economy, the hurdles facing reform in Congress and what Utahans can do to show their support for legislation moving through the Senate . . .
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IN THE MEDIA

Why I support immigration reform

By John Rowe, chairman emeritus, Exelon Corporation
Crain’s Chicago Business
March 4, 2013

“I write to support prompt and comprehensive reform of our immigration laws – reform that will provide more legal immigration opportunities for willing hands of both high and low skill and that will provide an opportunity to work and ultimately a path to citizenship for those already here. I write first because of faces I know, talents I know and hearts that move my own” . . .
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Immigration reform good for business
By Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company
USA TODAY
February 28, 2013

“As a business leader, I know we need to make it easier for committed, highly skilled people to make their lives and livelihoods here. Immigration is an essential part of the growth calculus for this great country. Nearly half of Fortune 500 companies were started by immigrants or their children” . . .
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Let business guide a guest-worker policy
By Steve Caldeira, president and CEO, International Franchise Association and Jerry Howard, CEO, National Association of Home Builders
Wall Street Journal
April 2, 2013

“Based on media reports and politicians’ news releases, there is finally momentum in Washington for comprehensive immigration reform, something our respective organizations have long advocated. One component of the system under discussion is critical: a new guest-worker program that will facilitate a market-driven supply of essential, ‘lower-skill’ workers. Without it, immigration reform would not be comprehensive, and it would not be true reform” . . .
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The pent-up entrepreneurship that immigration reform would unleash
By Javier Polomarez, president and CEO, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Forbes
March 6, 2013

“Out of countless conversations with business leaders in virtually every sector and every state, a consensus has emerged: our broken and outdated immigration system hinders our economy’s growth and puts America’s global leadership in jeopardy” . . .
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A fix for our immigration woes
By Alfonso Aguilar, executive director, Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles
Miami Herald
May 5, 2013

“Proponents of immigration reform tell us things are going to be different this time around . . . The only way to do this is by creating an effective mechanism to manage the future flow of immigrants: that is, by creating a credible guest-worker program” . . .
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The economy needs immigration reform

By Bob Linscheid, president and CEO, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
The San Francisco Examiner
April 22, 2013

“Congress is busy working on an immigration overhaul that, if passed, would usher in the most dramatic changes to the nation’s immigration system in more than two decades. While much of the focus and attention is on issues of border security, enforcement and pathways to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, the legislative overhaul now in progress presents an opportunity to advance issues important to the business community” . . .
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Republican coalition begins immigration ad blitz featuring Carlos Gutierrez
February 28, 2013

The American Action Network launched a national advocacy campaign aimed at winning support for immigration reform on the right. The first ads featured former Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, who recently resigned from Citigroup to head a new super PAC, Republicans for Immigration Reform. Former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida and Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada will be featured in future ads . . .
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Arizona employers sponsor insert in the Phoenix Business Journal
April 19, 2013

Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform sponsored a 20-page insert in the Phoenix Business Journal making the case that immigration reform will strengthen the economy. The insert included articles by retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, along with advice on how business leaders can effectively engage with elected officials . . .
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MAKING THE CASE TO ELECTED OFFICIALS


State and local chambers write to Congress

April 11, 2013

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce partnered with chamber representatives from 46 states to send a letter to Congress reminding members of the economic benefits of immigration. The letter explains that the existing immigration system does not meet U.S. labor needs and makes the case that American businesses need a better system for the future . . .
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Hispanic business leaders urge comprehensive reform
May 8, 2013

The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce joined with 150 smaller Hispanic chambers and other business associations to send a letter to Congress in support of comprehensive immigration reform. The letter underscored the economic benefits of reform, including a more competitive workforce and more job creation . . .
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Tech and business organizations lead Virtual March
May 22-23, 2013

Business and tech leaders are mobilizing supporters to coordinate two days of electronic lobbying. Participants will use Facebook and Twitter to urge their congressional representatives to support comprehensive reform . . .
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Florida and Carolinas Associated Builders and Contractors contact Congress
April 2013

Construction industry leaders from the Florida and Carolinas chapters of the Associated Builders and Contractors contacted their members of Congress to make the case that immigration reform will benefit their businesses. The message highlighted in meetings, phone calls and emails: that reform must meet the labor needs of the construction industry . . .
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ImmigrationWorks Florida meets with Senator Rubio’s state director
March 2013

Members of ImmigrationWorks Florida met with Senator Marco Rubio’s state director to discuss the Senate immigration bill. Representatives from the agriculture and construction industries underscored the importance of setting visa quotas that would meet Florida’s labor needs and replace illegal immigration . . .
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ImmigrationWorks USA and Arizona Chamber host dinner for congressman
April 24, 2013

ImmigrationWorks USA and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry cosponsored an off-the-record policy dinner attended by business leaders and Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar. This was the latest in a series of dinners ImmigrationWorks has been hosting with members of Congress since 2011. Regular attendees include national corporate executives and major trade associations representing employers who rely on immigrant workers. Among the topics discussed: the economic benefits of immigration and the need for employers to make their voices heard in support of reform . . .
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San Antonio business leaders meet with House immigration reformers
April 29, 2013

Reps. John Carter and Luis Gutierrez spoke at an event sponsored by the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber, explaining the bipartisan immigration reform bill they are working to craft in the House. “This bill is about finding a compassionate yet firm and law-abiding solution to immigration reform,” said Rep. Carter . . .
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Utah Chambers of Commerce to Congress: reform will strengthen the economy

May 6, 2013

Eight Utah Chambers of Commerce wrote a letter urging Congress to pass reform that will modernize the immigration system and attract entrepreneurs. The group called on Utah Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee to pass legislation that is “easy to understand, easy to navigate and easy to implement” . . .
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Associated Builders and Contractors will use an advocacy app to support reform
May 2013

Associated Builders and Contractors has developed a new grassroots advocacy smartphone app that enables users to respond to ABC action alerts and communicate with their congressional representatives on issues of interest to the construction industry. More than 1000 ABC members have downloaded the app, and according to the association, those who do are 60 percent more likely to respond to action alerts . . .
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SPREADING THE WORD

U.S. Chamber of Commerce launches immigration website

March 13, 2013

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched a new website to mobilize business in support of immigration reform. The site informs employers about pending legislation, gives them a tool to communicate with their representatives and gathers stories about how businesses benefit from immigration . . .
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Poll: small business owners support immigration reform
April 4, 2013

A new poll conducted by the Main Street Alliance and the American Sustainable Business Council finds that more than two-thirds of small business owners favor a path to citizenship for immigrants already in the United States. More than half favor a path to citizenship for future participants in a temporary worker program . . .
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ImmigrationWorks USA conference calls keep employers informed
March and April 2013

ImmigrationWorks USA continues monthly conference calls to keep its national network of employers informed about immigration-related developments in Congress and in the states. March and April calls described the legislation emerging in the House and Senate and discussed what employers can do to support reform in months ahead . . .
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Venture capitalists launch Innovate for America to share data about job creation
May 6, 2013

A group of Silicon Valley venture capitalists launched a website, Innovate for America, to help voters understand how immigrants create jobs and strengthen the economy. Founder Scott Sandell of New Enterprise Associates: “Every day we will update the total number of jobs created by all of the collective companies that participate. We will post that on our website [and] on a widget that can be embedded on anyone’s website” . . .
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