Tulsa, Oklahoma – A new statewide coalition is addressing what the group says is “the urgent need for immigration reform to keep the American Dream alive.”
FWD.us is a national bipartisan organization started by Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates among other key leaders in the tech community to promote policies to keep the United States and its citizens competitive in a global economy— including comprehensive immigration reform.
On Thursday, April 28, FWD.us launched the Oklahoma Coalition with a press event at the Tulsa City-County Library. The coalition is made up of business, community, and faith leaders to communicate the need for immigration reform focusing on:
- Promoting Smart Border Security. Provide law enforcement the tools necessary to substantially stop future illegal immigration and allow law enforcement to focus on real security threats and priorities.
- Unlocking Immigrants’ Economic Potential. Modernize our legal immigration system so that it works for today’s economy, creating millions of jobs, reducing the deficit, and allowing the U.S. to remain globally competitive.
- Creating a Process to Earn Legal Status. Create a pathway to legalization for those currently living in the United States illegally with long-standing community ties, who pass a criminal background check, pay fines and go through a probationary period. After an extended period of time such as 10 years, those who meet specific requirements such as learning English and paying back taxes, will have the option to apply for citizenship. Implementing this plan will bring those living here illegally out of the shadows and allow law enforcement to better focus their resources on violent criminals.
Members of the coalition will work to educate Oklahoma’s Congressional leaders on the urgent need for commonsense immigration reform by participating in meetings, events, media and digital outreach efforts.
“Comprehensive immigration reform is needed to keep families together and will allow the best and the brightest who are coming to America to gain an education to stay and grow our local economy,” said University of Tulsa Associate Dean for Experiential Learning and Associate Clinical Professor of Law Elizabeth McCormick. “We haven’t had any substantial changes to immigration law in over 20 years. The need for immigration reform is greater now than it ever has been.”
“Oklahoma immigrants have a great impact on our state’s economy,” said Tulsa Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Francisco J. Treviño. “There is room for Congress to work on a solution. However, we must work together to pass policies that help our businesses stay competitive in the 21st century.”
“What we are starting today will help turn the balance for real reform,” said Catholic Charities Staff Rev. Deacon Kevin Sartorius. “As a society, we will all rise together or fall as individuals. However, we can sustain ourselves if we welcome those from other countries to help find the better tomorrow that we are all seeking. We need leaders who are unafraid to speak out and say we want the knowledge, work ethic, drive and innovation that immigrants bring to the United States.”
“You can become involved today… right now,” said Tulsa YWCA Immigration Program Manager Laura Bachman. “Write an op-ed, attend town hall meetings and tell them your positive message so that they know that Oklahomans believe in positive immigration reform. After this event, I encourage you to seek out resources found on FWD.us and get involved.”
About FWD.us: FWD.us is a bipartisan organization started by key leaders in the tech and business community to promote policies to keep the United States and its citizens competitive in a global economy, starting with commonsense immigration reform and criminal justice reform.