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Organizations Roundtable Immigration Discussion

With Congress in recess and many congressmen returning to their home districts, activist groups are taking steps to get their attention.  WYSO’s Jerry Kenney reports on one groups efforts.

Hoping to get the attention of Congressman Michael Turner of Ohio’s 10th district - The Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform Network held a roundtable disccusion that featured local faith leaders, law enforcement, and members of the business community.  

Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl, took part in Monday’s discussion, believes reforms should include secure borders, employer accountability  says that  legal immigration process should be "a national priority,” adding that "a system that denies one timely access is no system is at all.”

The Ohio Highway Patrol was also invited to participate in the discussion and Biehl says that quite often, state and local law agencies are caught in the middle of the national immigration debate.

The police chief says, “There’s been an effort nationally for a number of years to either encourage or literally co-opt local law enforcement to be part of the solution to the broken immigration system, and I have vigorously opposed that."

Biehl adds that "It is not an appropriate role for local law enforcement, other than the individuals who represent a threat to this country or serious violent offenders, but, to try and get us to literally fill the gap where the federal immigration system is not functioning is just not a role for local law enforcement.”

About 60 residents and agency leaders took part in yesterday’s event at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Dayton and Top organizers, which includes the National Immigration Forum, say they’ll be looking for action when all of Congress returns to Washington in September.


Jerry Kenney was introduced to WYSO by a friend and within a year of first tuning in became an avid listener and supporter. He began volunteering at the station in 1991 and began hosting Alpha Rhythms in February of 1992. Jerry joined the WYSO staff in 2007 as a host of All Things Considered and soon transitioned into hosting Morning Edition. In addition to now hosting All Things Considered, Jerry is the host and producer of WYSO Weekend, WYSO's weekly news and arts magazine. He has also produced several radio dramas for WYSO in collaboration with local theater companies. Jerry has won several Ohio AP awards as well as an award from PRINDI for his work with the WYSO news department. Jerry says that the best part of his job is being able to talk to people in the community and share their experiences with WYSO listeners.