The American Business Immigration Coalition Launches 7-Figure “Immigration Reform Now: The Final Countdown”
Leading Bipartisan Reform Group Kicks Off 7-Figure Coast-to-Coast Campaign to Pass Immigration Reform This Fall in Final Budget Package
Authored by the American Business Immigration Coalition and originally published on abic.us
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC), in a virtual press event with Republican business leaders, farmers, and essential workers, on Friday launched a multi-state, multi-faceted, seven-figure campaign to push the decades-long effort to reform our nation’s broken immigration system over the finish line in the fall when budget reconciliation legislation is planned for debate.
ABIC’s “Immigration Reform Now: The Final Countdown” campaign will capitalize on momentum from the Senate’s passage of the budget resolution that included immigration solutions for Dreamers, TPS holders, essential workers, and farmworkers. ABIC, immigration reform advocates, congressional leaders, and the Biden Administration have targeted the budget legislation as the best, most immediate opportunity to provide pathways to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS recipients, farmworkers, and essential workers after decades of trying.
ABIC’s campaign, which will include activity in more than a dozen key states, will include the stories, support, and advocacy of workers, business leaders, farmers, families, and elected officials making the case that immigration reform is urgent, bipartisan, and belongs in budget legislation because it will create jobs, boost the economy, ease the labor shortage, positively impact the federal budget, and support families.
The Immigration Reform Now campaign will deploy a host of activities including: virtual and in-person events that follow local COVID-19 restrictions; paid and organic social media drives; visibility activities; grassroots and grasstops mobilization; and fact-based reports regarding the impact the proposed reforms will have on sectors of our economy.
“Immigration reform simply must be passed now and this summer is the final countdown,” said Rebecca Shi, Executive Director of ABIC. “ABIC is committed to passing immigration reform that provides pathways to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS recipients, farmworkers, and essential workers. While we have been fighting to do so in a bipartisan manner, reconciliation is now the best and most immediate opportunity to do so. Immigration reform is urgent, has bipartisan voter support, and it will create jobs, boost the economy, ease the labor shortage, and keep families together. We are launching this campaign to finally get immigration reform across the finish line because after decades of waiting, our economy, the business community, workers, and families simply can’t wait any longer.”
The following are highlights of comments from the speakers:
Bob Worsley, Co-Chair, ABIC, Arizona Republican State Senator - Retired, SkyMall Founder, AZ: “Immigration reform will have major implications for federal revenues, boosting the national GDP by $121 billion a year, exactly the kind of economic and budget considerations reconciliation is designed to address. We are launching this campaign to finally get immigration reform across the finish line. Immigrataion is an economic prosperity-for-all issue. It is not a race issue. The right-wing will soon be drowned out by the hue and cry for more workers….. I have no doubt and we will work to make sure that Senators Sinema and Kelly will stand with employers and their immigrant workers.”
Shay Myers, CEO, Owyhee Produce, ID & OR: “Farmers across America have been struggling to find quality labor to work their farms for years. Last year I had to give away hundreds of thousands of pounds of asparagus to the local community because I did not have the labor I was supposed to have in order to harvest that crop. It cost us an entire year’s profit… My workers are part of my family. I celebrate with them. I mourn with them and I pray with them and it’s part of my job to advocate for them and for the farmworkers across America who are just looking for dignity, respect, and a job to support their families… I support legalizing farm workers in the budget resolution by whatever means this Congress can. Farmers' backs are against the wall. Suicide rates are rising among famers because so many feel isolated, demonized, forgotten, and overlooked. Employers need labor and workers need dignity.”
Rony Ponthieux, Haitian TPS nurse, FL: “Since we first came to the U.S., my wife and I have had two US-born children, put ourselves through nursing school, and bought a house in Miami Gardens. My son is an E4 specialist in the Army. I work at Jackson Memorial Hospital’s COVID-19 unit where I save lives everyday. I’ve been in the US for 21 years now, since 1999, and since 2006, I’ve been a nurse. I put my life in danger and on the line to save American lives. My wife and I own 3 cars and pay our mortgage. Without permanent status, we may not be able to pay our expenses and provide for my 14 year old US citizen daughter. TPS recipients like me are workers, business owners, and taxpayers. Permanent status will allow me to be more productive and continue paying my taxes and expenses. That is why I respectfully urge our members of Congress to include a pathway to legalization for TPS holders in the reconciliation bill.
Monsi Contreras, Dreamer, entrepreneur & owner of Vida Mia Boutique, TX: “I obtained DACA in 2012. DACA gave me the opportunity to obtain a driver’s license, attend community college, and start my own jewelry and accessories business without fear of deportation. But Judge Andrew Hanen has put my livelihood in danger by declaring DACA to be unlawful. This means that DACA can be taken away from me at any time and that I could lose my business and the income that I need to buy a house as well as be deported to a country that I barely remember. Only a path to legal status would end my uncertainty and anxiety. Legalization would not only allow me to stay in the only country that I call “home”, but also give me the opportunity to grow my business by traveling abroad to buy and import jewelry and accessories from all over the world. That is why I am asking Congress to include Dreamers like me in the reconciliation bill.”
Irayda Flores, Hispanic Civic and Business Leader, AZ: “I came to the U.S. from Sonora, Mexico after I graduated from the university in 2004 to live the American dream. Both my daughters were born and raised in Arizona. For the past twenty years, I have had the appropriate education and business to remain in the United States. During this time, I have focused on being an entrepreneur, now owning two seafood businesses in Phoenix and Mesa, Arizona, importing wines from Sonora. I also do wholesale business in Arizona. I employ fifteen Americans and will soon expand my wholesale business to California and Nevada... I have been trying to obtain my permanent status for five to six years without success. The most recent denial stated I no longer qualified because my parents are now citizens. For many years I had a work permit but it was recently denied as well. I am now in danger of getting an order of deportation which will mean losing my business, laying off my employees and being separated from my U.S. citizen daughters... That’s why I’m asking Congress to include workers like me in the reconciliation bill. I belong to this country; I love this country so much and ask to be able to continue contributing to the community. I just want to continue contributing to this country I love so much.”
Nora Venegas, Federal Governmental Relations Director, Tyson Foods: “Tyson food supports bipartisan immigration policy solutions. When you visit any plant, you will meet team members from many parts of the world and hear many different languages spoken. Whether our team members came as refugees or Temporary Protected Status, TPS, holders, we support policy solutions to provide them stability.”
The American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC) promotes common sense immigration reform that advances economic competitiveness, provides companies with both the high-skilled and low-skilled talent they need, and allows the integration of immigrants into our economy as consumers, workers, entrepreneurs, and citizens. ABIC is active in key states and communities across the country engaging activists, advocates, business leaders and elected officials on the urgency of passing immigration reform that boosts our economy, creates jobs, eases the labor shortage and supports families.