Iowa Compact

on Immigration

 

As signers of the Iowa Compact on Immigration, we are committed to promoting common-sense immigration reforms that will strengthen our economy, as well as attract talent and business to our state.

 

With the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, we recognize the critical role immigration will play in driving continued economic growth. In 2017 alone, immigrants in Iowa contributed $390 million in state and local taxes and held $3.4 billion in spending power. Our ability to attract new citizens will be a key to keeping our workforce young and competitive in some of our state’s most important industries, from agriculture and manufacturing to science, technology, engineering, and math.

Therefore, we support bipartisan immigration policy reforms that ensure our federal system meets the needs of our employers and labor market; will provide a permanent solution for undocumented Iowans who make significant contributions to our state’s economy; and secure our southern border while enforcing our nation’s laws. Iowa’s immigration policies must reflect and reaffirm our global reputation as a welcoming, hospitable, and business-friendly state.

 

We urge state leaders and our national congressional delegation to adopt these six principles of the Iowa Compact on Immigration to guide the immigration discussion in our state.

1. FEDERAL RESPONSIBILITY:  Immigration policy is a federal issue between the U.S. government and other countries. We urge our Iowa congressional delegation to work to enact immigration policy at the federal level that improves our immigration system, keeps our communities safe, and protects our borders. 

 

2. STRENGTHENING OUR ECONOMY & WORKFORCE: For our state economy to grow and compete, Iowa needs a robust workforce and policies that prioritize attracting and retaining international talent. Our immigration system must be flexible enough to address the needs of businesses while protecting the interests of workers. This includes a visa system that is both responsive to and effective at meeting the demands of our economy and the industries that drive growth in our state.

 

3. A COMMON-SENSE APPROACH: Immigrants have always been and remain an important part of our communities across Iowa. We must adopt a common-sense approach to immigration that reflects our long-established values and recognizes the critical role immigration has played in both our state’s, as well as our nation’s history and economy. Our immigration policies must provide a sensible path forward for immigrants wishing to come to our country and a permanent resolution for those who are of good character, pay taxes, and are committed to becoming fully participating members of our society and culture, but lack legal status.

 

4. EFFECTIVE ENFORCEMENT: We support a law enforcement strategy that focuses on public safety, targets serious crime, and safeguards witnesses and victims. We further urge a reasonable and predictable regulatory environment that considers the interests of, and unintended consequences to businesses, the workforce, and consumers. Furthermore, the broader reform effort should eventually include a way to accurately, reliably, and affordably determine who is permitted to work, ensuring an adequate workforce for a growing economy.

5. FAMILY: Strong families are critical to developing successful individuals and cohesive communities. Our immigration policies, where possible, should prioritize keeping families together in order to ensure the most supportive home environments for all children across our state.

6. COMPETITIVE COMMUNITIES: We recognize that the communities that are able to attract a competitive workforce will continue to grow and those communities are generally the ones who embrace and welcome new citizens. We support local policies that create an environment that ensures that all residents have the tools and opportunities they need to succeed.

Signatories

Associated General Contractors of Iowa

 

Easterseals Iowa

 

Iowa Business Council

 

Iowa Lodging Association 

 

Robin Anderson
President & CEO, Mason City Chamber of Commerce

 

Yena Balekyani

Founder & Executive Director, Congo Girls United 

 

Joydeep Bhattacharya

Economist, Iowa State University

 

Jay Byers

CEO, Greater Des Moines Partnership

 

Kim Casko

President & CEO, Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce

 

Lori Chesser
Immigrant Attorney, Davis Brown Law Firm

 

Rowena Crosbie 
President & Founder, Tero International, Inc.  

 

Dan Culhane
President & CEO, Ames Chamber of Commerce

 

Cary Darrah

CEO, Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber

 

Jessica Dunker

President & CEO, Iowa Restaurant Association

 

Kyle Gingrich
Vice President of Operations, Apache Inc.

 

Nick Glew
President, Marion Economic Development 

 

Molly Grover

President & CEO, Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce

 

Chuck Hammond

CEO, Raining Rose

 

Mark Hanawalt
President and CEO,
United Equipment Accessories, Inc. (UEA)

 

John Hughes

President, Iowa Nursery and Landscape Association 

 

Tom Hughes

President, Hughes Nursery & Landscaping

 

Jason Hutcheson

President & CEO, Greater Burlington Partnership

 

Greg Jenkins
President & CEO, Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce & Industry

 

Chad Kleppe

President & CEO, Master Builders of Iowa

 

Jonathan Koester 

President, Koester Development

Thomas J. Mahoney, Jr.

Chairman & CEO, ITA Group, Inc.

 

Marty Martin

President, Drake University

 

 Chris McGowan

President, Siouxland Chamber of Commerce

 

John “Jack” Mutti
Economist, Grinnell College

Gerard Neugent
Co-Chairman & CEO, Knapp Properties, Inc.

 

Doug Neumann

Executive Director, Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance

 

Mark Nolte

President, Iowa City Area Development Group

Lynn Olberding

Executive Director, Marshalltown Area Chamber of Commerce

 

Peter Orazem

Economist, Iowa State University

 

David Peters

Sociologist, Iowa State University
 

Mike Ralston

President, Iowa Association of Business and Industry

 

Bob Ritz

CEO, Mercy Health Network

 

Paul Rumler

President & CEO, Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce

 

Mark Rupprecht 

President, R&R Realty Group

 

Chad Schreck

President, North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corp.

 

David Stark
President & CEO, UnityPoint Health – Des Moines

 

Scott Stimart

President & General Manager, Genova Technologies

 

John Stineman

Executive Director, Iowa Chamber Alliance

 

Therese (Terri) Vaughan

Professor of Insurance and Actuarial Science, Drake University

 

Paul Weller
Economist, University of Iowa (Emeritus)