Wednesday morning, a crowd of attendees in Omaha was treated to a well-informed discussion of how fixing our outdated immigration system would strengthen Nebraska’s communities and businesses.
Faith, legal, and business leaders took part in a community forum organized by Bibles, Badges, and Business For Immigration Reform – a nationwide network of leaders from a variety of perspectives that support moving forward a common-sense immigration system for the 21st century.
Watching the video of speakers at Wednesday’s roundtable discussion reinforces that our outdated immigration laws hold back Nebraska’s economy and divide communities, which keeps our state from reaching its full potential.
Dan Mulhall of Omaha’s Mulhall’s Landscaping, Nursery and Garden Center said the current immigration system “poses a very real problem from an economic standpoint.”
“It fundamentally affects our ability to grow the economy,” Mulhall said. “Those that make the case that we just need to enforce our current laws or that doing nothing is an option don’t fundamentally understand how broken the current system is.”
He added the current immigration system actually punishes businesses that try to obey the law. Providing a workable path to citizenship for immigrants provides for economic stability for both businesses and employees.
Dan Mulhall of Mulhall’s Landscaping, Nursery and Garden Center
Also joining the conversation was Scott Jones, Bishop of the Nebraska Conference of the United Methodist Church. Bishop Jones reminded the audience that America is a nation of immigrants with a long history of hard-working people from many countries working, raising families, supporting communities, and adding to the culture of the United States. Creating an immigration system with a path to citizenship will allow that valuable tradition to continue.
“America is richer and more blessed by the Hispanic people among us, documented and undocumented,” Bishop Jones said. “Those people have huge contributions to make to us.”
United Methodist Church Bishop Scott Jones
Jim Partington, Executive Director of the Nebraska Restaurant Association, pointed out that each of the four panelists in the BBB Immigration roundtable came from families of European immigrants, whose ancestors came to the U.S. to work for a better life.
“The reason immigrants are coming now is exactly the same,” Partington said, “but we’re not encouraging them quite as well as we used to.” Calling it “a strategic imperative for the United States of America,” Partington concluded, “For our economy to thrive, Congress should pass meaningful immigration reform with earned legalization and a path to citizenship.”
Jim Partington, Executive Director – Nebraska Restaurant Association
See all the videos of Wednesday’s BBB Immigration roundtable on Appleseed’s Vimeo page.