By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
The Supreme Court will rule soon on Arizona’s immigration law and more southern states are debating following Alabama’s lead and passing their own immigration laws. The immigration summit in Atlanta on June 11 is set 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.”
Participants at the event include former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales (who will be the keynote speaker); Larry Wooten, President of the North Carolina Farm Bureau; Catholic Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, Florida; Paul Bridges, Republican Mayor of Uvalda Georgia; Mark Shurtleff, Republican Attorney General of Utah; Jeb Bush Jr.; Chris Butts, President of the Georgia Green Industry Association; Charles Hall, with the Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Association; Charles Kuck, immigration attorney; Ralph Schulz with the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce; Karen Bremer representing the Georgia Restaurant Association; Doraville, GA Police Chief John F. King; TN Dept. of Public Safety Depyty Commissioner Larry Godwin, and Brian Burt, the Executive Director of World Relief Atlanta.
Dr. Julie L. Hotchkiss, a Research Economist and Policy Advisor with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta will give a presentation on the role that immigrants and immigration play in the current regional economy, and how the Supreme Court’s decision could affect Southeastern business owners.
Closing remarks will be made by Ali Noorani, the executive director of the National Immigration Forum.
According to the group’s written statement the discussions will be organized around three topics:
1) What role does immigration play in the future of the southeastern economy?
2) How are churches and communities being changed by the arrival of new immigrants? And how are religious communities affected by state-level enforcement laws (like HB56)?
3) How the region’s public safety is affected by the relationship between immigrants and state and local law enforcement agencies?
The Southeast Summit follows the Mountain West Summit in Salt Lake City, hosted by Republican Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff in October 2011. WHAT: Southeast Summit: Forging a New Consensus on Immigrants and America. The Southeast Immigration Summit will be on Monday, June 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 pm at the W Downtown Hotel; 45 Ivan Allen Junior Boulevard, Atlanta, Georgia.