Immigration Reform Now (Editorial)

by Arkansas Business Editors  on Monday, Jul. 28, 2014 12:00 am  

Ronnie Floyd

In the last week an Arkansas religious leader and an Arkansas business leader weighed in on the need for immigration reform. Together they make a compelling argument for Congress to quit grandstanding and address the issue — now.

Ray Dillon, CEO of Deltic Timber, was asked by Arkansas Business about the shrinking workforce in the forest products industry. A “comprehensive immigration policy is an essential part of the solution for tomorrow’s workforce,” he said.

Ronnie Floyd, president of the powerful Southern Baptist Convention and pastor at Cross Church in northwest Arkansas, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that a trip to south Texas to visit with some of the thousands of children fleeing Central America for the U.S. was a revelation: “I saw those children up close, and that changes everything. It’s no longer just a story. Those children, they are someone’s children, they are someone’s grandchildren, they are someone’s friend.”

Floyd urged Southern Baptists “to pray that elected officials find a resolution and to look for opportunities to help the children,” the newspaper said.

Add to this is a recent poll by the Partnership for a New American Economy that found that 72 percent of voters “reject the argument that the Administration’s unwillingness to enforce laws is a reason for Congress not to act.” Eighty percent of voters “want Congress to act this year.” And “Republicans would rather vote for a presidential candidate in 2016 that is from a party that supports reform (71%) than one from a party that opposes it (15%).”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce acknowledges that it’s making common cause with “a variety of odd bedfellows including faith organizations, law enforcement, and ethnic groups” to support reform.

A movement that attracts such diverse elements is one worth listening to.



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