Springfield pastor part of national effort pushing immigration reform

Pastor Carl Ruby, also director of Welcome Springfield, says more than border security needed to deal with immigration challenges.


Springfield Pastor Carl Ruby Wednesday announced plans to form an Ohio arm of the group FWD.US, a national advocacy group seeking immigration reform.

The national group is backed by several technology company leaders, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook. Ruby serves as the Senior Pastor of Central Christian Church and Executive Director of Welcome Springfield.

RELATED: Trump lays out tougher approach to illegal immigration

At a statehouse news conference, Ruby, called for Congress to consider more than border security in the immigration debate.

“It is a false choice to have to choose between border security and immigration policy that welcomes skilled immigrants and that allows people to come out of the shadows and to become taxpayers. It is not one or the other. We have to address all of it,” Ruby said.

Formation of the group comes just as President Donald Trump’s administration’s travel ban faces legal challenges from multiple states. It puts a temporary halt on travel from six Muslim majority countries, although it permits travel by people who already have a visa to come to the U.S.

At the Columbus kickoff, Pat Valenti, executive director of the Ohio Fuel Cell Corridor, a non-profit organization promoting fuel cell development in the state, voiced his support. Valenti wants a change in immigration policies to allow foreign-born scientists to stay in the U.S. longer after they complete their degree work at universities here. “I see the need for immigrants in science and technology. It’s incredible in the amount of people we need to still prosper as a global leader and that is really important.”

RELATED: What is a green card?

Using Springfield as an example, Ruby said most people may not realize the contribution immigrants make to the Clark County economy. “We would be in severe trouble in our hospital if we did not have foreign born physicians caring for people in Springfield, Ohio. If we didn’t have Dole Foods in Ohio, a company that employs about 600 people, mostly immigrants, that would be a huge cut to the tax base,” Ruby said.

Dr. Rosaire Ifedi, a native of Nigeria who now teaches at Ashland University, said immigrants with technical skills should be welcomed to the U.S. and be permitted to stay here to contribute to the economy. “They are not taking people’s jobs. They are not here to do bad things. But they are here to build the state of Ohio,” Ifedi said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

Government shutdown: Will I still get my mail?
Government shutdown: Will I still get my mail?

Hundreds of thousands of federal employees could be barred from working if Congress can’t agree to a budget plan and avoid a shutdown. But the country’s more than 500,000 postal service workers won’t be among them.  Mail service will continue uninterrupted, even during a government shutdown.  That’s because the U...
Government shuts down, negotiations expected through weekend
Government shuts down, negotiations expected through weekend

The federal government shut down Saturday for the first time since 2013 late Friday, with a handful of Republicans and the vast majority of Democrats in the Senate opposing efforts to keep the federal government running for another month. By a vote of 50-48, Senate Republicans fell far short of the 60 votes needed to end floor debate and clear the...
Here's what has happened during previous government shutdowns
Here's what has happened during previous government shutdowns

It’s fairly certain the government will shut down. If the Senate doesn’t pass the short-term spending bill —passed earlier by the House — by midnight Friday, it will happen. Under a shutdown, thousands of federal employees would go without pay and national parks would close, among other things.  Here's a look at the key...
Democrat Kucinich picks running mate in Ohio governor’s race
Democrat Kucinich picks running mate in Ohio governor’s race

Former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich on Friday chose Akron City Councilwoman Tara Samples as his running mate in his bid for Ohio governor. Samples fills out the field of lieutenant governor candidates in the 2018 race to replace Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is term limited. Kucinich, 71, on Wednesday announced his decision to run in the Democratic primary...
Losers appeal Ohio medical pot licensing decisions
Losers appeal Ohio medical pot licensing decisions

State officials are scrambling to hold more than 60 appeal hearings for companies that did not win medical marijuana cultivator licenses in Ohio. So far, 68 of the 161 rejected applicants have filed for a “119 hearing,” in which a hearing officer listens to the state and the business present their cases on why the licensing decision should...
More Stories