Oklahoma Group Urges Discussion On National Immigration Reform

<p>&nbsp;A coalition of business and community leaders in Oklahoma is calling on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform.&nbsp;</p>

Wednesday, August 3rd 2016, 12:33 pm

A pro-immigration group headed by Michael Bloomberg, is pushing for a national overhaul of the system, hitting all 50-states with a pro-reform message.

The group made it very clear, they're not trying to dictate what immigration reform legislation should look like. They say they just want to get the discussion started.

“The system we have does not work,” said Terry Detrick with American Farmers & Ranchers, “It's currently sometimes quicker to get into this country illegally than legally."

And that's the message spread throughout the country by the "Partnership For a New American Economy”. The group kicked off what it calls the "Reason for Reform" campaign Wednesday in Oklahoma and all 49-other states. 

"If properly designed a guest worker program would encourage law abiding tax paying industrious seasonal workers to work through harvest and be able to go back home to family,” Detrick told reporters.

In 2013, the US Senate's "Gang of Eight" passed the comprehensive immigration reform bill, but it later died in the House of Representatives.

Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton has promised sweeping immigration reform in her first hundred days of office, offering a pathway to citizenship. Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump has focused on increased border security and deportation of illegal immigrants.

At Wednesday's event in Oklahoma, backers of reform urge folks to call members of congress and demand some action.  Exactly what that will look like, they admit, is anyone's guess right now.

"Even within the group of speakers you've got here today I bet you that what immigration reform looks like to me may not pass muster with my three colleagues here today,” said Senator Brian Crain (R) Tulsa.


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