THE BLOG
09/23/2014 01:34 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

A Small-Town Mayor with Big Hopes for Immigration Reform

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2014-09-23-PaulBridges_CapAwards_HuffPostPic.png Paul Bridges (center) at the 2012 NCLR Capital Awards with NCLR Board Chair, Jorge Plasencia, and NCLR President and CEO, Janet Murguía

Paul Bridges is the former mayor of Uvalda, a small town in Southern Georgia, where the local, agriculturally driven economy relies on the skills of migrant workers. He is also a Republican who strongly believes President Obama must relieve the "terror" that his town's migrant workers experience due to the constant threat of deportation.

We sat down with Mr. Bridges to talk about the economic benefits of immigration reform, the consequences of the House of Representatives' failure to act, and what he hopes the president will do to fix our broken immigration system.

NCLR: It's expected that President Obama will use his legitimate executive authority to provide relief from deportations to people who have been in the United States for an extensive period of time and who contribute to their communities. What would it mean for people in your town if they could come forward and live without the fear of being separated from their families? If they could work lawfully?

Bridges:

NCLR: When it comes to Uvalda, how would administrative relief change the lives of those currently living with fear of deportation?

Bridges:

NCLR: Could you tell us the story of someone you know who would benefit from the president providing administrative relief? How would helping this individual and others like him or her help a town like Uvalda?

Bridges:

NCLR: After the historic passage of the Senate Gang of Eight's comprehensive immigration reform bill, the House of Representatives failed to act. In the wake of this inaction, what should President Obama do to provide relief to communities across the country?

Bridges:

NCLR: This year you received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award--and the NCLR Capital Award in 2012--for your work on immigration reform. Why is this issue personally important to you?

Bridges:

Agree with Mr. Bridges and want to show your support for the millions living in fear? Sign our petition to let the president know the time for administrative immigration relief is now!

This was first posted to the NCLR Blog.