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September 05, 2007   Email to Friend 

Jeff Helms
(334) 613-4212
September 05, 2007

Agricultural leaders Ronnie Mobley, center, and Oliver Washington, right, meet with Jay Reed, chairman of the Joint Interim Patriotic Immigration Commission, following the group's organizational meeting in Montgomery. Mobley was elected secretary of the commission.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Elected officials and industry stakeholders charged with recommending solutions to immigration issues in Alabama held their organizational meeting Sept. 5 at the State House in Montgomery.

The Joint Interim Patriotic Immigration Commission (JIPIC), which was established by an act of the Legislature, includes appointees by the governor, lieutenant governor and the speaker of the House of Representatives.

Representatives from the agriculture community serving on the commission include former Alabama Farmers Federation Women's Chairman Ronnie Mobley of Winston County, Federation State Board Member Dennis Maze of Blount County, Oliver Washington, owner of Shore Acres Plant Farm in Mobile County, and Ricky Walker, past president of the Alabama Poultry and Egg Association.

During the organizational meeting, Jay Reed, vice president of Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc., was elected chairman of the 21-member commission. Sen. Scott Beason, R-Gardendale, was elected vice chairman, and Ronnie Mobley was elected secretary.

The commission is charged with conducting a fact-finding study on immigration issues and outlining suggestions to address illegal and legal immigration in Alabama in a report to the governor, Legislature and members of the state's congressional delegation.

Beason, who sponsored the joint resolution creating the commission, called the group's charge "one of the most important endeavors the state of Alabama will take part in during the next few years." He anticipated the commission holding five to six public hearings across the state before making recommendations next spring.

Reed said he's honored to be selected president of the commission by the 17 members present for the organizational meeting.

"We've got a job ahead of us, and we certainly need to take a balanced look at immigration in Alabama," he said.

The next meeting of the JIPIC is set for Wednesday, Sept. 18, in Montgomery.

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