IW GRASSROOTS UPDATE

October 18, 2013


MAKING THE CASE TO ELECTED OFFICIALS


Greater Phoenix Economic Council sends letter to delegation
October 16, 2013

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council wrote a letter in support of reform to the Arizona congressional delegation. Among the signatories: executives of Wells Fargo and a Phoenix area transportation company, the publisher of the Arizona Republic, a university president and the mayors of Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe. Their message: “Finding a simple and straightforward solution to our country’s federal immigration woes is not an easy task technically or politically. However, failure to enact any reform is tantamount to endorsing the existing policy, which we find to be counterproductive” . . . read more

Farmers and farm workers deliver 8,000 letters to Rep. McCarthy
October 16, 2013

Central Valley growers partnered with the United Farm Workers on a letter-writing campaign that generated nearly 8,000 letters and postcards. The goal: to persuade House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy to press for a vote on the Senate immigration bill. The Nisei Farmers League joined the UFW in delivering the letters to Rep. McCarthy’s office . . . read more

Conservatives organize fly-in to lobby GOP
October 15, 2013

Business owners from the around the country will join faith leaders and law enforcement officials visiting Washington at the end of the month to meet with Republican lawmakers. Organizers of the fly-in include the Partnership for a New American Economy, FWD.us and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Idaho rancher Terry Jones explains why he plans to participate: “We're not here wanting to break the laws . . . We've got employees we want to treat right and pay a fair wage to” . . . read more

EVENTS AND SPEECHES

Michigan growers hold press conference
October 10, 2013

Michigan fruit and vegetable growers held a press conference highlighting their need for immigrant workers. Among the organizations represented: the Michigan Apple Committee, the Michigan Agriculture Commission, the National Council of Agricultural Employees and the United Fresh Produce Association. Michigan Apple Committee executive director Diane Smith: “Comprehensive immigration reform will help to get a legal, steady workforce in place that our growers can draw upon” . . . read more

Illinois business coalition organizes panel
October 16, 2013

The Illinois Business and Immigration Coalition sponsored a panel discussion featuring pro-reform business leaders and educators. Panelists included Illinois Specialty Growers Association chairman Harry Alten, a representative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a university president and an unauthorized law student. Alten’s message: immigrant farm hands want to work in the U.S. legally, and American agriculture needs their labor . . . read more

BUSINESS CASE FOR REFORM

ABC survey highlights skilled worker shortage
October 16, 2013

Associated Builders and Contractors conducted a survey of it members and found that 75 percent are experiencing a shortage of skilled workers. ABC sees immigration reform as part of the solution: “The industry must be able to legally supplement its workforce when there are not a sufficient number of willing or able American workers to continue to meet U.S. construction demand” . . .  read more

IN THE MEDIA

Minnesota Chamber advocates for immigration reform
Q&A with Bill Blazar, senior vice president, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce
Minneapolis Star Tribune
October 12, 2013

“The immigrant role in the economy is broader than as a worker. A lot of Minnesota businesses get started by people who weren’t born here, and as much as the state’s economy has changed, we still depend a lot on the start-up and success of new companies. When you just think about the contributions of immigrants as entrepreneurs, certainly as workers as well, but also as consumers and as a bridge to the world economy, ours is purely an economic argument” . . . read more