As the immigration debate heats up in our nation’s capital, a group of influential organizations in Tennessee banded together to show their support of bipartisan, meaningful, workable immigration reform. The press conference took place at the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Nashville, with Catherine Glover, president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Ryan Peebles, president of the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. of Tennessee; Moore Hallmark, executive director of the Southeastern Region of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Yuri Cunza, president and CEO of the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; and Lacy Upchurch, president of Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation each sharing why their respective organization was in favor of a federal solution to this on-going issue.
“The Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation is proud to stand today beside our friends with the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry and our fellow business families in support of S.744 the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act. We believe this bipartisan immigration bill is a balanced reform bill, it includes fair and workable farm labor provisions, and it will help ensure an adequate supply of farm labor. The success of Tennessee agriculture, as well as U.S. agriculture depends on workers who show up every day and work along with farm families to raise and harvest our crops and livestock. Today’s consumers want local grown foods and labor reform helps make sure our food is produced here in the United States. We believe American food grown on American soil is the best option. We absolutely support securing our borders and believe part of what makes securing the borders work is to assure we have a legal, achievable way for farm workers to enter our country. The farm labor provisions are the result of an agreement forged by the United Farm Workers Union and the Agriculture Workforce Coalition, a coalition of 60-plus organizations of which our American Farm Bureau Federation is a founding member. We urge the U.S. Senate to support S.744 – the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act and look forward to working with members as the reform legislation moves through Congress,” said Upchurch during the press conference.