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GERALDO RIVERA TAKES ON IMMIGRATION REFORM

HOUSTON – The Greater Houston Partnership welcomes Geraldo Rivera as he takes on the controversial issue of immigration reform.

Rivera, an award-winning reporter, commentator, senior correspondent and host of Geraldo At Large on FOX News Channel and author of HisPanic: Why Americans fear Hispanics in the U.S., will address Partnership Members on public opinion drivers, impacts on America and the rational and irrational arguments surrounding this explosive and divisive topic.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, 18th District of Texas and Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration will deliver a special report addressing “Where is Congress on Immigration Reform?”

Houston – a 10-county region on the frontline of immigration – is the perfect setting for such a discussion. According to a 2006 study by the Partnership’s Vice President of Research, Patrick Jankowski:
Some 420,000 undocumented foreign nationals live in the Houston metropolitan area. This figure represents 8 percent of the area population, or one in every 12 to 13 residents. The undocumented population includes approximately 117,600 children, 124,000 adult females and 178,000 adult males. The regional economy includes approximately 250,000 unauthorized workers. That translates into 9.8 percent, or one in 10, of all Houston area workers.
Five industries account for the bulk of undocumented workers in Houston: construction, manufacturing, professional and business services, accommodation and food services, and other services. Measured in output per worker, unauthorized workers’ contribution to the Houston MSA’s Gross Regional Product is estimated at $27.3 billion.

In April, Partnership President and CEO, Jeff Moseley joined former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and others in addressing immigration reform before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship.

“The Greater Houston Partnership seeks to represent a reasonable voice for business and industry in this dialogue – one we know has been missing from this debate,” testified Moseley. “We have witnessed the failures of the past to find resolution to this issue. America’s immigration system is broken, and any solution will require bipartisan action by Congress to reform our nation’s immigration laws,” he added.

The Greater Houston Partnership, through the creation of Americans for Immigration Reform (AIR), advocates the following be considered by legislators working to revamp our immigration laws:

    Secure our borders
    Create an efficient and effective program for temporary workers
    Create a fast, reliable employment verification system
    Hold employers accountable for hiring employees with legal status
    Develop a realistic policy for undocumented immigrants already here

“The U.S. does not have the capacity to meet all of its employment needs for our domestic work force,” says Moseley. “Enforcement-only would have devastating effects on our region’s economy. If the U.S. would lose access to the current undocumented work force, the losses would amount to more than $1.7 trillion in annual spending. Locally, it is estimated that undocumented workers contribute $27.3 billion to our gross regional product, and that’s more than 8 percent.”

The public and audience members are encouraged to participate in what promises to be a dynamic discussion by submitting their questions for Geraldo via www.houston.org.

Media seating for the luncheon is limited. Working media covering the event please send RSVP to cgarza@houston.org.

Who: Greater Houston Partnership

What: Geraldo Rivera Takes on Immigration Reform: Many Angles, Many People, Many Views

When: Tuesday, June 30, 2009
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Where: Hyatt Regency Houston
1200 Louisiana
Houston, TX

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