Sunday, June 10, 2012

First Southeast Summit on Immigration

ATLANTA, GA (GALEO) - As the Supreme Court prepares to rule on Arizona's immigration law and as more states in the Southeast debate passing their own immigration laws, prominent figures in the region will convene June 11 at a downtown hotel in Atlanta to discuss the importance of immigrants and immigration to the region's economic and cultural vitality. Key stakeholders from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee will begin to develop a common understanding of the value of immigrants and immigration to the Southeast and to the country as a whole, and to renew calls for federal action.

Highlights of this rational discussion to forge a new consensus on immigrants and America will include a keynote speech by former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. In addition, a broad range of regional leaders will participate in interactive panel discussions, including Richard Land, President of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and Larry Wooten, President of the North Carolina Farm Bureau.

Discussions will be organized around three topics:

Economy: What role do immigrants and immigration play in the regional economy, and how are they important to the future of key industry sectors?
Faith and culture: How are churches and communities being shaped by the arrival immigrants in the region? How do state-level enforcement laws and issues with our current federal system our religious communities?
Public Safety: How does the region's sense of public safety hinge on the relationship between immigrants and law enforcement agencies?

Paul Bridges, Republican Mayor of Uvalda, Georgia
Mark Shurtleff, Republican Attorney General of Utah
Jeb Bush Jr., COO, Jeb Bush & Associates and Board of Directors, National Immigration Forum
Chris Butts, Legislative Affairs Director, Georgia Green Industry Association
Charles Hall, Executive Director, Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Association
Charles Kuck, Managing Partner, Kuck Immigration Partners LLC
Brian Burt, Executive Director, World Relief Atlanta

The Southeast Summit builds on the successful Mountain West Summit in Salt Lake City, hosted by Republican Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff in October 2011. There, nearly 200 business, faith and law-enforcement leaders built new relationships, discussed state policies, and communicated to policymakers and the media about the need for pragmatic solutions at the federal level. The Southeast Summit expands that conversation to one of the most economically and culturally dynamic regions in the country.

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