IW UPDATE - BUSINESS GRASSROOTS
 
July 2, 2013
 
EVENTS AND SPEECHES

Bloomberg releases results of national poll on immigration reform
June 15, 2013

The Bloomberg Partnership for a New American Economy orchestrated press events in 21 states to release the findings of a new national poll. Participants included business representatives, elected officials and faith leaders, who met in an array of venues – state capitols, city halls, chambers of commerces and more. Among the survey’s key findings: more than two-thirds of likely voters support the Senate bill . . . read more

National Small Business Week an opportunity to support immigration reform
June 20, 2013

The Latino Coalition celebrated National Small Business week by holding events in five cities, highlighting the economic benefits of immigration. Gatherings took place in Seattle, Dallas, St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Washington DC. “Forty percent of Fortune 500 companies were started by an immigrant or a son of an immigrant, making for 10 million jobs and seven out of ten top brands in our country,” said Hector Barreto, chairman of the coalition and former administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration . . . read more

Essential workers? Less-skilled immigrants and the changing US economy
June 25, 2013

CKE Restaurants CEO Andrew Puzder joined a panel of immigration experts and advocates to discuss the nation’s need for less-skilled immigrant workers. ImmigrationWorks USA and the American Enterprise Institute cosponsored the event, which was streamed live from AEI in Washington. Puzder’s message: “The bill before Congress could really be a benefit to the United States. As the CBO says, it would increase GNP and reduce the deficit” . . . read more

Dairy Farmers of America joins USDA in support of immigration reform

June 21, 2013

Business advocates from a range of industries joined Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack at a Kansas City forum on immigration reform sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Business participants included Dairy Farmers of America board chair Randy Mooney along with representatives of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Business Coalition for Immigration Reform and the Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City. “Without immigration reform,” Mooney said, “we are going to make it more difficult for consumers to access affordable food. We could even risk allowing more of our food production to move overseas” . . . read more

MAKING THE CASE TO ELECTED OFFICIALS

Business leaders meet with President Obama to discuss immigration reform
June 24, 2013

Business leaders and entrepreneurs met with President Obama in the White House to discuss the need for immigration reform. Many of the business leaders present were immigrants themselves, now running their own businesses and creating jobs. Attendees included AOL founder Steve Case, Ethan Allen Interiors president and CEO Farooq Kathwari and Chobani president and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya . . . read more

U.S. Chamber of Commerce launches ad featuring Rubio, Ryan and Paul
June 23, 2013

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched a national television ad featuring video clips of Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Paul Ryan. Aimed at persuading conservatives to support immigration reform, the ads make a case based on conservative values. Sen. Rubio’s message: “Let’s secure our borders, welcome our new neighbors and practice the values of freedom and family’’ . . . read more

Tech CEOs urge Senate to pass immigration reform
June 27, 2013

More than 100 American CEOs from the technology sector signed a letter urging the Senate to pass S. 744. Signatories included the CEOs of Microsoft, Google and Facebook. Their bottom line: “Senate approval of S. 744 is essential for our economy to continue to foster innovation and invigorate many U.S. business sectors through an educated and highly skilled workforce of domestic and foreign-born talent” . . . read more

NAM and SEIU release joint letter in support of immigration reform
June 19, 2013
 
The National Association of Manufacturers and the Service Employees International Union cosigned a letter to the Senate in support of S. 744. NAM represents 11,000 small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector. The SEIU represents more than two million workers in healthcare, property services and public services. Their joint message: “While our points of view may differ on many issues, we agree that it is important not to squander a chance for real reform to our immigration system” . . . read more

North Dakota Microsoft hosts immigration roundtable with Sen. Heitkamp

June 18, 2013

Microsoft hosted a roundtable at its Fargo headquarters to discuss high-tech workers and the Senate immigration bill. Participants included Senator Heidi Heitkamp and rubber manufacturer WCCO Belting president and CEO Tom Shorma, along with an array of other business and education leaders. North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani explained why reform matters to the state: “Our needs for an educated high-tech workforce are immediate” . . . read more

Tampa business leaders discuss immigration with Rep. Kathy Castor
June 21, 2013

The Tampa Chamber of Commerce convened a group of business leaders to discuss immigration reform with U.S. Congresswoman Kathy Castor. Executives came from across the sectors that rely on immigrant workers: from the general manager of the Tampa Airport Marriott to a senior vice president of Vology, Inc., a local technology company. We need “a more consolidated effort to bring more individuals into the country,” said Marriott manager Zach Curry . . . read more

NJ business groups hold a conference call with local media
June 27, 2013

The New Jersey Main Street Alliance convened several local chambers of commerce and other business leaders on a conference call with local media. Participants represented a wide array of New Jersey businesses, from the Fortune 500 companies in the Morris County Chamber of Commerce to the small yard clean-up firms in the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association. Their shared message: “Companies want more flexibility in terms of who they can hire” . . . read more

ImmigrationWorks rallies business leaders in six target states
June 2013
 
As the Senate prepared to debate S. 744, ImmigrationWorks rallied business grasstops leaders to reach out to their elected representatives and urge them to vote for the bill. The strategy focused on six priority states: Tennessee, North Dakota, Georgia, Kansas, Idaho and Arkansas. Conference calls brought together business leaders from across the sectors that hire immigrant workers: from poultry producers to restaurateurs to IT entrepreneurs. Groups in each state worked with IW to develop a grasstops strategy: calls, emails and op-ed pieces in local newspapers . . . read more

ImmigrationWorks holds call with Sen. Johanns and Nebraska industry leaders
June 26, 2013
 
The day before the Senate voted on final passage of S. 744, ImmigrationWorks convened Nebraska business leaders on a conference call with Nebraska Sen. Mike Johanns. Participants included representatives from the Nebraska Restaurant Association, Nebraska Retail Federation and Nebraska Cattlemen, who explained how immigration reform would benefit their industries and urged the Senator to vote YES on the immigration bill . . . read more
 
IN THE MEDIA

Immigration reform good for business, right for nation
By Maria Monreal-Cameron, president, Wisconsin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

June 26, 2013

“The legislation they have drafted, S. 744, represents a common-sense approach to immigration reform that addresses the core challenges of illegal immigration, is fair and respects the law. I support this legislation because it will have a positive impact on businesses and is the right thing to do” . . . read more

Immigration reform is a must for Texas business

By Bill Hammond, president and CEO, Texas Association of Business
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

June 27, 2013

“Texas is on the front line of the immigration debate. We’ve seen first-hand the cost of a broken border and its toll on citizens and immigrants alike. There also has been a toll on Texas businesses that can be removed only by Congress and the president putting into place comprehensive immigration reform” . . . read more

Immigrants keep Georgia’s economy running
By Karen Bremer, executive director, Georgia Restaurant Association
Gwinnett Daily Post

June 22, 2013

“Like most states, Georgia would benefit from comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level, establishing clear standards through E-Verify that are consistent from state to state for who is allowed to work in the United States and enabling employers everywhere to vet prospective hires” . . . read more

Immigration reform vital to South Carolina tourism
By Carl Sobocinski, president, Table 301 restaurants
The State

June 20, 2013

“In the decades since our country passed its last comprehensive immigration reform, in 1986, work eligibility rules have become a patchwork quilt from state to state. That lack of comprehensive immigration policies and procedures has become a burden on our economy. To his credit, Sen. Lindsey Graham has taken the lead on immigration reform” . . . read more

Pathway to citizenship will aid state economy
By Sankalp Trivedi, owner, Mausam Indian restaurant
South Jersey Times

June 23, 2013

“I’m no economist, but I know small business. Small businesses need qualified employees, and right now we’ve got people who are already here and want to work but can’t. We need customers with more money in their pockets. We need a stronger economy so we can continue to grow and create jobs. Immigration reform can deliver these things” . . . read more

Why farmers need immigration reform now
By Karen Barie, vice president, Chautauqua County Farm Bureau
The Post-Journal

June 23, 2013

“For the first time in years, it is exciting to see real movement on immigration reform in Congress that could open the door for greater stability and growth on our family farms in New York. There is a strong need to have a reliable, legal workforce in our dairy barns and fields during critical times of the growing season” . . . read more

Immigration reform vital to flagship universities
By Dean Bresciani, president, North Dakota State University and Robert Kelley, president, University of North Dakota
Inforum

June 19, 2013

“Thoughtful immigration law reform, prioritizing more flexibility in STEM-related fields, could offer particularly strategic opportunities for North Dakota. We recognize that the bill is a complicated one with many features, but we support the discretion of our congressional representatives to work toward reforms that are appropriate to our state” . . . read more

Immigration reform bill would benefit businesses
By Guy Moos, president and CEO, Baker Boy
The Dickinson Press

June 21, 2013

“When I can’t find American-born employees, my business will benefit from being able to hire foreign-born workers. Be it low skill or high skill, our immigration system needs to be more flexible so employers like us can hire the people we need when we need them” . . . read more