Sheriff Margaret Mims, working with the Nisei Farmers League and National Immigration Forum, has been invited to a White House briefing dealing with immigration. The briefing will take place on the afternoon of Tuesday, May 14.
Law enforcement agencies have become a growing voice in the immigration debate and many have become involved in what's being called the "Three B's" (Bibles, Badges, and Business) group, calling on Congress to develop a comprehensive immigration strategy. Thirty-seven states' Attorneys General recently sent a letter to Congressional leaders asking them to do just that.
The focus of Tuesday's meeting will be Senate bill 744, which was negotiated by a bipartisan group of Senators known as the "Gang of Eight." Other topics of discussion will include strengthening border security and the immigration debate's impact to communities.
One of the immigration issues plaguing Fresno County is the involvement of cartels in the trafficking of people and drugs. Many of the residents of communities in the Valley where unemployment is high and large numbers of workers are undocumented are vulnerable to criminals that may prey on their desperation. Sheriff Mims recently brought attention to this problem in a letter Senator Dianne Feinstein where she called on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to shift its focus from auditing businesses to the more serious trafficking issues.
Sheriff Mims stated, "I am grateful for the opportunity to share Fresno County's perspective on this challenging issue. It is critically important for the people and businesses of the Valley that Congress and the President get immigration reform right. Our communities and businesses must be protected, while at the same time the integrity of our national borders must be respected. The time is now."
Manuel Cunha, Jr., President of the Nisei Farmers League, stated, "Valley communities and local businesses are proud to see an individual such as Sheriff Mims give our perspective on this timely issue."
Accompanying Sheriff Mims will be Craig Regelbrugge, a member of the national coalition.