IW GRASSROOTS UPDATE

September 27, 2013

MAKING THE CASE TO ELECTED OFFICIALS

FWD.us releases metrics from August recess

September 18, 2013

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s political advocacy organization FWD.us announced the results of recent grassroots organizing. Between August 1 and September 10, FWD.us drove a total of 125,000 communications, including 33,500 calls to Congress, emails and social media shares. FWD.us president Joe Green: “We’ve been inspired by the response” . . . read more

Aspen Chamber of Commerce makes case to members of Congress

September 25, 2013

The Aspen Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to the Colorado congressional delegation and issued a resolution urging the House to act on the comprehensive immigration measure passed by the Senate in June. The letter was signed by 50 Colorado business, educational and religious groups. Their message: “Our tourism, hospitality and ski industries – the lifeblood of our distinctive mountain towns – are handcuffed by a system that makes it difficult for them to find the workers they need” . . . read more

EVENTS AND SPEECHES

Colorado business groups hold press conference
September 23, 2013

Denver business groups held a press conference at the Metropolitan State University of Denver urging Congress to pass reform. Attendees included representatives from the South Metro Denver Chamber, the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Colorado Association of Mechanical and Plumbing Contractors and other business groups, including the Colorado Competitive Council and Colorado Concern. Oakwood Homes chairman and CEO Pat Hamill’s message: “We have a shadow workforce that’s not paying taxes. With immigration reform, we won’t have that. I’d like to call on Congress to do something for a change rather than nothing at all” . . . read more

Utah college officials call for reform
September 19, 2013
 
Educators from seven Utah colleges and universities sent a letter supporting reform to the state’s congressional delegation, and Westminster College officials explained how foreign students benefit the Utah economy at a ceremony celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Westminster school of business. Westminster dean Jin Wang: “I think the USA has benefited from an infusion of foreign talents over a long period of time.  It is unfortunate some students who have the ability to contribute to society can’t, because of government regulations” . . . read more

IN THE MEDIA

Flexibility in border security plan will help economy

By Bill Hammond, president and CEO, Texas Association of Business
Houston Chronicle
September 19, 2013

“If there is one major flaw in current immigration reform plans, it is that they don’t offer enough legal immigration flexibility. The real answer to our immigration problem is allowing enough legal immigration to meet the needs of employers. If employers’ needs are met, there will be an expanded avenue for people to enter legally and allow for greater focus on those who enter illegally” . . . read more

Congressional inaction hits home
By Dino Cervantes, president, New Mexico Chile Association
Albuquerque Journal
September 15, 2013

“It is hard to imagine New Mexico without the chile industry. It is a real possibility, however, if Congress continues to delay immigration reform. As is, 70 percent of the fruits and vegetables consumed domestically are grown in other countries primarily due to the lack of available labor here in the United States” . . . read more

We need immigration reform
By Jay Williams, general manager, Landscape Art, Inc.
Williamson County Sun
September 22, 2013

“For each of the last 15 years, we have sought American workers first. Each year, we receive responses. Each year we conduct interviews. Each year we offer employment to all who show up. After 15 years of trying, we have two American-born workers as a result of the ads. I am very proud of Alex and Roy. They are good workers and solid guys, but we can’t run our company with two field workers” . . . read more

Business leaders need to speak up on border issues
By Lea Márquez Peterson, president and CEO, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Inside Tucson Business
September 20, 2013

“Small business owners have a major stake in this debate because of its implications for their businesses and local economies. Approximately 90 percent of businesses in Southern Arizona are defined as small businesses, and two thirds of small business owners support a roadmap to citizenship for immigrants already living in the U.S.” . . . read more

Embracing the middle ground on immigration reform
By Andrew Doehrel, president and CEO, Ohio Chamber of Commerce and Tim Burga, president, Ohio AFL-CIO
Cleveland Plain Dealer
September 23, 2013

“We need to be able to fill job openings even when American workers are not available to fill them. Even during times of economic hardship this occurs when employers simply cannot find domestic labor. It is important that our laws permit businesses to hire foreign workers without having to go through a cumbersome and inefficient process. Therefore, we need to create a mechanism that responds to the needs of business in a market-driven way” . . . read more