[RECORDING] NC Governor Roy Cooper, Sen. Tim Scott Joined CEOs, Growers, and University Presidents for Bipartisan Immigration Summit in the Carolinas

Link to the recording here: https://bit.ly/3sneRGX 

CHARLOTTE, NC — North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, Attorney General Josh Stein, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) joined a virtual immigration summit with business leaders and university presidents at the bipartisan Carolinas Flourishing: Unlocking the Region’s Economic Potential through Sensible Immigration Solutions (see below for quotes and highlights).

North and South Carolina are home to more than 1.1 million immigrants, including over 41,000 Dreamers and 120,000 farm workers. They power key industries like agriculture, construction, manufacturing, technology, hospitality, tourism, and healthcare. With a combined spending power of $28.8 billion, they contribute over $10.3 billion in federal and state taxes. Leaders discussed common-sense, bipartisan immigration solutions like the bipartisan federal Dream Act introduced by Senators Durbin and Graham, and the DREAM and Promise Act, and Farm Workforce Modernization Act that the House of Representatives passed last week with strong bipartisan support.

The event also featured Attorney General Josh Stein (D-North Carolina); Vincent Price, Duke University President; Martin Eakes, Self Help Federal Credit Union Chairman and CEO; Krista L. Newkirk, Converse College President; Chalmers Carr, Titan Farms President and CEO; Hugh McColl, Bank of America Retired Chairman and CEO; Jose Oliva, Replacements Ltd; Marty Kotis, Kotis Holdings President and CEO; Gris Bailey, Latin American Chamber of Commerce-Charlotte President and CEO; and Jose Hernandez Paris, Latin American Coalition Executive Director.

The ABIC called on the Senate to pass the bipartisan Dream and Promise Act, the bipartisan DREAM Act of 2021 (Durbin/Graham), and the bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act that passed the House with 30 Republican Congress members and introduced in the Senate by Senators Bennet (D-CO) and Crapo (R-ID).  

Vincent Price, Duke University President, said:

“At Duke, we are fully committed to partnership and engagement with leaders from industry and government as we work to address the world’s most pressing issues. And there is perhaps no issue more pressing than developing reasonable, fair policy solutions that provide clarity for those in our immigration system.”

Martin Eakes, Self Help Federal Credit Union Chairman and CEO, and ABIC Carolinas Co-Chair, said:

“One of the great things about being a lender is that you get to see all the genius and diversity of America through the entrepreneurs and nonprofits you come in contact with. 60,000 of our members are immigrant families. A large majority of both parties, over 70%, support legalized status for Dreamers. Building strong youth that can participate in our schools and our economy and society is a key to the future of North Carolina and South Carolina and the country as a whole. We cannot let our legacy be that we left 41,000 young Dreamers in the Carolinas in a place where they cannot be fully human and fully productive members of our economy.”

Marty Kotis, Kotis Holdings President and CEO, said:

“We need to see additional opportunities for people to thrive and add value and North Carolina. We need a path to citizenship that is organized and safe. We need people that want to work, that have a strong work ethic, and we should expand opportunities for high and low-skilled workers that demonstrate that they will be productive and respectful members of society. We need immigration reform.”

Gris Bailey, Latin American Chamber of Commerce-Charlotte President and CEO, said:

“Immigrants have a growth mindset and are willing to take risks and face new challenges. This is the kind of leadership we need for our country to continue to prosper. 86% of net new businesses were created by Latinos alone in the United States. In fact, 3 million American jobs are created by Latinos, and that’s not including the millions more jobs created by other immigrants. That’s why we support common sense, bipartisan immigration solutions.”

Yahel Flores, a DACA recipient and director of ABIC’s Carolinas Chapter, said:

“As a DACA recipient who grew up in Kernersville, NC, I can tell you that immigrants are here to work. They fill critical labor needs and strengthen the economy of the Carolinas. We need commonsense immigration solutions to unleash our full economic potential so that we can contribute to our great country.”

HIGHLIGHTS FROM SUMMIT (click on link for complete video remarks):

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said:

“What we have seen time and time again is a Congress frozen in partisan gridlock. It’s hurting the states, it’s hurting local governments, it’s hurting businesses and our economy and most importantly, it’s hurting people and families. We must understand how vital the immigrant community is to our economy across the nation and right here in North Carolina. I look forward to the day when our nation’s leaders can agree to a commonsense policy on immigration. That’s what we need to keep our economy going. Count on me to be a steady voice for such a solution.”

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) said:

“I will be at that table working with our friends across the aisle to bring real sustainable reform to the agricultural industry.”

Attorney General Josh Stein (D-NC):

“Today our immigration system is broken, our leaders in Washington must finally take this moment and take action on comprehensive immigration reform that recognizes the valuable contributions immigrants make in their communities. The US Senate needs to take up the Farm Workforce Modernization Act and the DREAM and Promise Act that the House passed with strong bipartisanship last week.” 

Event Co-sponsors: American Business Immigration Coalition – Carolinas Chapter, North Carolina Growers’ Association, the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education & Immigration, NC Green Industries Council, Latin American Chamber of Commerce in Charlotte, Duke University, NC Green Industries Council, NC Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, South Carolina Farm Bureau, Latin American Coalition, Americans for Prosperity.

ABOUT

The American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC) promotes commonsense immigration reform that advances economic competitiveness, provides companies with both the high-skilled and low-skilled talent they need, and allows the integration of immigrants into our economy as consumers, workers, entrepreneurs, and citizens.

The American Business Immigration Coalition – Carolinas Chapter promotes commonsense immigration reform in North and South Carolina that promotes common-sense, bipartisan immigration solutions to unleash the region’s economic growth, create jobs, fulfill labor needs, and strengthen families. 

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