New Website Launched to Build Support for Sensible Immigration Policy

New Website Launched to Build Support for Sensible Immigration Policy

Site Highlights Importance of Immigration to Economic Competitiveness of
Midwest Region

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 forcedata.
  *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
    integratingimmigrants in the Midwest.
  *Recent immigration-related news articles, summaries of major issues
    surrounding the debate and suggestedreadings 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 .

CONTACT: Samantha Skinner

312.821.7507 Direct | sskinner@thechicagocouncil.org

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