Immigration roundtable pushes for reform

South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg joined a panel of business and community leaders in a discussion on reforming the pathway to citizenship for more than 11 million Americans-in-waiting.

Panelists from the both the North Central Indiana AFL-CIO and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce stood together in agreement on the economic benefits of reform.

"The remarkable thing about immigration reform today is that just about everybody can agree," said Mayor Buttigieg. "The prophecy that the lion will lay down with the lamb, it doesn't get closer to that. The AFL-CIO and the United States Chamber of Congress are coming together on anything... that just does not happen in the course of our country."

2010 data from the Immigration Policy Center shows that more than 5 percent of Indiana business owners are immigrants. New immigrant business owners also generated more than $700 million in revenue for Indiana that year.

The panelists each believed that comprehensive immigration reform would mean a stimulus for Indiana's economy and the United States' gross domestic product overall. They are in support of H.R.15 -- The Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act -- which is before the House of Representatives.

"We're asking for our member of Congress, Jackie Walorski, to bring that bill to the floor for the vote," said Tony Flora, President of the North Central Indiana AFL-CIO. "We believe that a majority of the House of Representatives do want to support it and would vote that way, and it would be very good to our country."

Rep. Walorski was listed on the event program but was unable to attend.


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