Political Notebook

Valley leaders join immigration-reform effort as way to grow economy

Former Fresno Mayor Alan Autry has signed on to an effort to reform America’s immigration policies.
Former Fresno Mayor Alan Autry has signed on to an effort to reform America’s immigration policies. Fresno Bee Staff Photo

A group of elected officials and business representatives from the central San Joaquin Valley on Tuesday launched a new effort to achieve immigration reform that would allow undocumented people to become legal residents in the United States.

The local effort is part of the California Leadership for New American Economy, an initiative of the New American Economy. That umbrella group features more than 500 top U.S. political and business representatives, both Democrat and Republican, who want the nation’s immigration system to get fixed.

Among the leaders of the local effort are Alan Autry, former Fresno mayor; Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims; Orange Cove Mayor Victor Lopez; former U.S. Rep. George Radanovich, who’s president of the California Fresh Fruit Association; Manuel Cunha Jr., president of the Nisei Farmers League; Paul Wenger, president of the California Farm Bureau; the Rev. Gilbert Montelongo, board member of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Council; Mario Rodriguez of Hispanic 100; and C.C. Yin, founder of Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs.

The goal is to have a secure border while also figuring out how to get undocumented people right with the nation’s laws.

“America cannot and should not engage in mass deportations of millions of productive members of society,” the group says in a news release.

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