Summit County Councilor Dave Ure (R) says immigration reform is "in the best interest of every citizen and of every undocumented immigrant in the United States," and on Wednesday the County Council entered the debate by calling on Congress to pass sensible reform.
The resolution, pushed by Ure, names June 'Immigrant Heritage Month' and explains the importance of immigrants to the fabric of Summit County, emphasizing how crucial reform is for the community.
Before the resolution was passed, Shelly Vebber, an activist for the Latino community, and Glenn Wright, chair of the Summit County Democratic Party, spoke in favor.
"For the last 20 years, I have been a passionate advocate for the immigrant community that supports the economy of Summit County," Vebber said. "I respect the efforts of our immigrant community to work here and to be assimilated into Summit County."
Wright, who 39 years ago worked as a safety engineer for an insurance company in Los Angeles, said he once inspected a garment factory where hundreds of undocumented immigrants worked. He was evaluating a worker's compensation claim and found that there had been only one accident logged in three years. That changed when he looked closer.
"The only person who reported an accident was a legal worker. The entire population of the garment factory had been intimidated into never reporting an accident," Wright said. "[Immigration reform] is something that needs to be done nationwide. I salute you for taking the initiative on this.
Ure, who supports enforcing the United States' border laws with Mexico and opposes granting amnesty to undocumented immigrants, said immigration reform would allow those coming to the country illegally to work legally and contribute to the tax base.
"If the U.S. government really wanted to save money, they would resolve this problem," Ure said. "We are wasting a lot of money on the border. [Reform] would stop people from trying to sneak in across the border."
The Summit County Council passed the resolution on a vote of 5-0.
To view the resolution, visit parkrecord.com and choose this story.