By Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau: This morning , The Partnership for a New American Economy hosted a live media event at the Mesa Arts Center (Alliance Pavilion) in Mesa to encourage Congress to renew efforts to pass meaningful immigration reform. The event was part of a nationwide effort. 

In conjunction with the national call for reform today, a special section ran in the Washington Times titled “The Conservative and Economic Case for Immigration Reform,” featuring opinion editorials from business leaders and conservative leaders calling on Congress to act on immigration reform.

Several leaders spoke at today’s event including Arizona Farm Bureau’s Joe Sigg, government relations director for the non-profit agriculture advocacy organization.

  • Bob Worsley, State Senator District 25
  • Tony Rivero, Representative Elect for State House District 21
  • Bill Montgomery, Maricopa County Attorney
  • Barry Broome, President & CEO Greater Phoenix Economic Council
  • Joe Sigg, Arizona Farm Bureau

While the leaders addressed several of the critical issues related to immigration reform, Sigg highlighted the impact to Arizona's $17.1 billion agriculture industry and the importance of reform. “The Arizona Farm Bureau is just one of many voices in support of immigration reform, and we have been at this a long time. We represent production agriculture and our agenda is a reliable labor supply, but the immigration issue transcends our agenda.”

Sigg also talked about the five pieces. “The five pieces are not the five easy pieces:  1) visa reform, 2) the border, 3) interior enforcement, 4) justice for the young, and 5) opportunities for those working in limbo. The pieces must fit together – it’s hard, but we have too much history to know what happens when reform is fragmented.”

“Immigration policy is as much about the principle of freedom: Freedom for business and economic forces and freedom for individuals and families,” added Sigg. “Einstein reminded us that the great and the inspiring is created by individuals who labor in freedom.”

Sigg also talked about the challenge of getting it done but reminded the media and audience members that getting a package together should go beyond our individual agendas. “Immigration policy will be forged in compromise, but it will be enshrined in the principle of freedom,” he said. “Complete immigration reform is beyond any of our individual agendas.”

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