CHICAGO, Nov. 12, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs launched MidwestImmigration.org, the official website of its bipartisan Task Force on Immigration and U.S. Economic Competitiveness. The site seeks to inform Midwestern leadership and enhance public understanding of immigration and its importance to the region's economic future.
Led by nine co-chairs, 54 business and civic leaders from across the Midwest have come together to forge consensus around and build support for sensible immigration policy at the state and national levels. They are developing a report that argues immigrants are essential to the region's future prosperity and key to economic revitalization. The report will be released in early 2013 at a half-day symposium in Washington, D.C., and will be available on MidwestImmigration.org.
Midwestern business, political and civic leaders and organizations who support the policy directions recommended by the task force can sign on to the task force's Group of 500 (G500) through the website. The G500 is a key component of the task force's effort to present the Midwestern perspective for immigration reform to policymakers in Washington, D.C. Together with the G500, the task force will create a strong network of Midwestern leaders committed to moving the immigration debate forward into action.
MidwestImmigration.org features include:
- State-by-state immigration information for the 12-state Midwest, including demographics, legislative histories and labor force data.
- Videos and summaries of the task force's seven regional forums that took place in fall of 2012 in Chicago, Des Moines, Detroit, Fargo, Minneapolis, St. Louis and West Lafayette. Approximately 300 leaders attended the forums and many stressed the urgency of bipartisan action, reporting that immigrants are already helping to reverse population decline, filling needs for high-skill workers in local economies and alleviating agricultural labor shortages, although not yet in sufficient numbers due to inefficient immigration policies.
- Spotlight stories on the individuals and communities at the forefront of integrating immigrants in the Midwest.
- Recent immigration-related news articles, summaries of major issues surrounding the debate and suggested readings and reports.
- Information about task force cochairs, members, and the writers.
"Immigration is a pillar of the region's economy and the Midwest needs a solution to reform," said Rachel Bronson, vice president of studies at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. "This website is a critical vehicle for uniting those who support this vision and for raising awareness among those unfamiliar with the urgency of this issue."
MidwestImmigration.org is one outcome of the work of The Chicago Council's bipartisan Task Force on Immigration and U.S. Economic Competitiveness, convened in December 2011. Tamar Jacoby, president and CEO of ImmigrationWorksUSA, has worked closely with Bronson to help guide the project and serves as lead writer of the final report.
This project builds on previous Chicago Council work on immigration issues, including the Heartland Paper "Mexican Immigration in the Midwest: Meanings and Implications" (2009); Strengthening America: The Civic and Political Integration of Muslim Americans (2007); A Shared Future: The Economic Engagement of Greater Chicago and its Mexican Community (2006); and Keeping the Promise: Immigration Proposals from the Heartland (2004).
Generous funding for this project has been provided by the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust, Exelon Foundation, the Lumina Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and Chicago Council Board member and task force cochair Clare Muñana.
About The Chicago Council on Global Affairs
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, founded in 1922, is a prominent, independent and nonpartisan organization committed to influencing the discourse on global issues through contributions to opinion and policy formation, leadership dialogue, and public learning. Learn more at thechicagocouncil.org .
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