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Forum to focus on immigration issues

Organized by former Cedarville administrator Carl Ruby

About five months after leaving Cedarville University, former vice president for student life Carl Ruby has a new full-time job advocating for the Bibles, Badges and Business Network for Immigration Reform.

On Monday, Ruby will host his third round-table discussion on immigration in Ohio, with an event from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in rooms 207 and 209 of the LRC Building at Clark State Community College, 570 E. Leffel Lane in Springfield. The organization brings together people from the faith community, law enforcement and business owners. The event is free and open to the public, and no registration is required.

Ruby, who left Cedarville under a nondisclosure agreement, said his new position is “a career switch I never in a million years would have anticipated, but I feel very passionate about it.”

Monday’s round-table will include information on Senate Immigration Bill 744 and presentations by local and statewide leaders on the importance of immigration reform for this region, including: Barbara Loach, member of the Latino Coalition of Clark and Champaign Counties and professor of foreign language at Cedarville; Troy Jackson, founder and president of Ohio Prophetic Voices; Patrick Oliver, professor of criminal justice at Cedarville and former police chief in Cleveland, Fairborn and Grandview Heights; the Rev. Bill Reisenweaver, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in South Charleston, Ohio; and the Rev. Jose Sanchez, pastor of Nueva Creacion Church in Springfield and Cedarville staff member.

Ruby said people often think of immigration reform as an issue just for states such as California or Arizona, but there are many migrant workers in the Miami Valley. He said he hopes attendees “see that this is a local issue. I would want them to come away with an understanding that immigration is good for the area and good for Ohio.”

“When you look at the facts and the economics of it, it increases productivity in Ohio and helps small business owners,” he said.

Ruby said his passion for the issue grew out his work at Cedarville hosting a lecture and then a national forum on immigration. He was also spurred to action after reading a letter the Rev. Martin Luther King wrote while jailed to white pastors at the time. Ruby said it caused him to wonder what he would have done at the time: marched with King or sat on the sidelines.

Ruby said he believes today, there are issues of morality surrounding immigration reform. “I think it’s the Civil Rights issue for this generation,” he said.

Following the event, four of the speakers will head to Washington, D.C., to meet with legislative aides for U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, House Speaker John Boehner and Reps. Mike Turner and Jim Jordan, Ruby said.

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