More than 40 Nebraska organizations say now is the time for common-sense immigration laws

Creating a clear and inclusive path to citizenship is good for Nebraska families, communities, economy, and future

flag-and-immigrants1-150x150As Nebraska’s members of Congress get ready to return to Washington, D.C., more than 40 Nebraska organizations gathered today to urge common-sense immigration laws that create a clear and inclusive path to citizenship for aspiring Americans. The organizations represented a wide range of Nebraska perspectives, including faith, business, labor, immigrant, civic, civil rights, children and families.

“We’ve been living with an outdated system that doesn’t serve our interests or our values,” said Darcy Tromanhauser, Director of Nebraska Appleseed’s Immigrants & Communities Program. “A wide range of perspectives is here today to say that creating a clear and inclusive path to citizenship is good for Nebraska’s families, communities, economy, and future.”

“The need and justification for fixing our nation’s broken immigration system are beyond reasonable dispute,” said Jim Cunningham of the Nebraska Catholic Conference.  “Comprehensive immigration reform is in our nation’s vital, best interest, and in this reform we include development of a clear and attainable path to citizenship.  The great hope of the Nebraska Catholic Bishops Conference is that Congress and the Administration will seize the opportunity like never before and cultivate the bipartisan momentum to move forward with genuine progress.  Our Conference urges the members of Nebraska’s Congressional delegation to be constructively involved in the achievement of landmark legislation.”

“As a small business owner, I work side by side with my employees, and I know we all want the same things for our families.  However, the immigration system in this country is broken; it doesn’t work for employers or employees and this hurts Nebraska families and businesses,” said Jerry Kuenning of the Nebraska Cattlemen.  “It’s time to update our laws so they are sensible and make families, communities and our economy strong.”

“Our ability to assimilate immigrants from diverse cultures is unique and one of our great strategic advantages as we compete in the global economy,” said Jim Partington of the Nebraska Restaurant Association.  “A bipartisan approach to comprehensive immigration reform will enable both political parties to work together to improve border security, sustain economic growth, support the rule of law and align our policies with our values. By keeping open the opportunity to pursue the American Dream for today’s hard-working immigrants, we honor the courage and entrepreneurial spirit that brought so many of our ancestors to the United States and ensure the future vitality of our free-market economy and democracy.”

“Today, immigrants are living in an historical moment with the potential for immigration reform,” said Sergio Sosa, Executive Director of Heartland Workers Center. “Let us make this moment right by calling upon our elected officials to pass a comprehensive and humane reform that will stop deportations, unite families, and put immigrants on a path to citizenship.”

A new immigration bill is expected to be introduced after recess, which ends April 8.

Additional contacts:

  • Jim Cunningham, Nebraska Catholic Conference, 402-477-7517
  • Jerry Kuenning, Nebraska Cattlemen, 402-475-2333 (main office)
  • Jim Partington, Nebraska Restaurant Association, 402-488-3999
  • Carolina Quezada, Latino Center of the Midlands, 402-733-2720
  • Sergio Sosa, Heartland Workers Center, 402-933-6095

Press conference participants included:

ACLU – Nebraska
Anti-Defamation League – Plains States Region
Black Men United
Brown Immigration Law, LLP
Campbell’s Nurseries and Garden Centers
Catholic Charities of Omaha
Carpenters Union Local 427
Center for People in Need
Center for Rural Affairs
Central Nebraska Human Trafficking & Immigration Outreach
Centro Hispano Comunitario (Columbus)
College of St. Mary
Creighton Center for Service and Justice
El Centro de las Americas (Lincoln)
Heartland Workers Center
Inclusive Communities
Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska
Justice for Our Neighbors – Nebraska
Latino American Commission of Nebraska
Latino Center of the Midlands
Latina Reading Circle
League of Women Voters
Malcolm X Memorial Foundation
Multicultural Center of Grand Island
NAACP – Lincoln
National Association of Social Workers – Nebraska Chapter
National Council of Jewish Women – Omaha Section
Nebraska AFL-CIO
Nebraska Appleseed
Nebraska Catholic Conference
Nebraska Cattlemen
Nebraska Conference of the United Methodist Church – Risk Taking & Justice Ministries
Nebraska Restaurant Association
Nebraska Retail Federation
Nebraska State Dairy Association
Nebraska Urban Indian Health Coalition
Nebraskans for Peace
Office of the Mayor, City of Lincoln
Office of the Mayor, City of Omaha
Omaha Together One Community
Sisters of Mercy, West Midwest Community
SSCA Omaha – Serving All Refugees
St. Mary’s Immigration Program (Grand Island)
YWCA – Lincoln

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