CHICAGO - Close enough to Illinois' Republican incumbent Governor Bruce Rauner to have served on Rauner's 2013 exploratory committee, retired Exelon CEO John Rowe is continuing his pro-immigration activism with a national group called "Cities for Citizenship (C4C)."
C4C is part of the "America is Home" Initiative rolled out last week to promote naturalization of immigrants living in the U.S. The organization is co-chaired by Democrat mayors of three sanctuary cities: Los Angels Mayor Garcetti, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and New York City's Mayor de Blasio.
The American Business Immigration Coalition, chaired by John Rowe, who also serves as co-Chair for Illinois Business Immigration Coalition, joined their group was joining a "bipartisan" challenge to promote naturalization of non-citizens visiting or working in America.
Rowe's group's website promotes an amnesty pathway for "DREAMers." They're "Keeping the American Dream Alive because it's economically important, politically smart and morally right." The ABIC writes to the 800,000 DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)-recipients nationwide:
ABIC leaders value you. We believe you deserve a future in the United States because you are genuine assets to this country. You are its bright future.
You are us – our employees, our students, our community, our future. You came out of the shadows in good faith, submitted to rigorous background checks, and demonstrated your commitment to bettering the future by earning college degrees, working hard, and investing in our shared economy by purchasing homes and cars.
Chicagoan Joshua Hoyt, who was also Executive Director and Chief Strategy Executive at Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights from May of 2002 to December 2013, also is on the American Business Immigration Coalition board. He is now executive director of National Partnership for New Americans. The NPNA's platform says:
The New American Dreams Platform seeks to define—by immigrants—what it means to be a successful nation of immigrants. The Platform will broaden and deepen current political discourse about immigration so that candidates and policymakers must acknowledge that immigrants are not numbers but humans, not burdens but contributors, and not criminals but mothers and fathers and laborers and taxpayers and business owners. The New American Dreams Platform aims to be a framework to discuss immigration from this time onwards.
In the long run, the Platform will build momentum that requires every candidate to be genuinely, robustly pro-immigrant. The New American Dreams Platform will be run like a campaign. We will build support at the local level and mobilize our constituencies through community actions, social media campaigns, story sharing and testimonials, and coordinated press strategies. The Platform was launched at the National Immigrant Integration Conference (NIIC), NPNA’s flagship event, in December 2015.
Rowe, Hoyt and Mayor Emanuel are working together to pressure Congress into changing the nation's policy to embrace and help those in the country without appropriate documentation.
"When immigrants naturalize they make an affirmative decision to study English, US history and government, and swear allegiance to our Constitution," the announcement said. "Naturalized citizens have higher income, generate more taxes, connect with their neighbors more easily and assume their full rights and responsibilities in this country, to proudly say 'America is Home.'"
Rowe defended Governor Rauner signing Illinois' Trust Act into law against the Illinois Republican Party's platform that encourages immigrants obey federal law requirements and enter the country according to federal immigration policy regulations.