Hatch at Religious Freedom Symposium: “Religious Liberty Deserves Attention”

Salt Lake City, UT—This week, the Hatch Center—the policy arm of the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation—hosted a religious freedom symposium entitled “Protecting Our Religious Liberty.”

Speakers included: former US Senator Orrin G. Hatch; Leonard Leo, the Executive Vice President of the Federalist Society; Baroness Emma Nicholson of Winterbourne, a Member of the UK Parliament; and Professor Brett G. Scharffs, the Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University Law School.

The symposium was attended by leaders of many faiths, including rabbis, pastors, elders, and apostles such as Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, shown here with the speakers.
Matt Sandgren, Executive Director of the Hatch Foundation, moderated an interfaith roundtable featuring a lineup of local community leaders.
See below for complete video remarks from all of the speakers, as well as the roundtable.
“The second great commandment is to love your neighbor. To understand this is to know your neighbor is your equal, but may be in a much harder situation than you.” –Baroness Emma Nicholson of Winterbourne, UK House of Lords, Founder of the AMAR Foundation
“All human beings are endowed by their creator with inherent and inalienable human dignity. This dignity is the foundation for human rights, and one of the most powerful justifications for religious freedom for all.” –Brett G. Scharffs, BYU Law Professor and Director of the International Center for Law and Religious Studies
“Religious liberty deserves our attention both at home and abroad.” 
-Former Senator Orrin G. Hatch
“[Freedom of religion] protects the right of conscience, not just in houses of worship but in workplaces, schools, hospitals, government offices, and anywhere else we go in this world.”—Leonard Leo, Executive Vice President of the Federalist Society
Panelists included: Chabad Lubavitch’s Rabbi Benjamin Zippel; First Presbyterian’s Pamela Atkinson; Sri Ganesha Temple’s Dr. Neale R. Neelameggham; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Elder Jack. N. Gerard; and Utah Muslim Civic League’s Avais Ahmed.

After the symposium, Senator Hatch and Leonard Leo joined Boyd Matheson, Opinion Editor at Deseret News. Click here to listen. They also discussed Senator Hatch’s op-ed from earlier this week, where he outlines the significant implications of “court-packing.” Click here to read.


Hatch Center and FWD.us Release Report: Our Outdated Immigration System Needs Overhaul

Washington, DC—Today, the Hatch Center—the policy arm of the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation—joined FWD.us in releasing a new report on the need to reform to the US immigration system to grow the economy, foster innovation, and create new American jobs. The report advocates specifically for commonsense, bipartisan changes to our high-skilled immigration policy.

The report’s release on April 1 is significant, as it marks the day that USCIS begins accepting H-1B visa petitions for Fiscal Year 2020. There are 65,000 H-1B visas available, and another 20,000 available for individuals who hold advanced degrees from US colleges and universities. The annual cap of 85,000 visas has been exhausted within one week for the previous six years.

“The United States is the innovation capital of the world, with a talented workforce that is second to none,” said Hatch“But unless we fix our broken immigration system, our workforce—and our economy—will fall behind. That’s why I have long been a champion of bipartisan immigration reform, including efforts to maximize the contributions of high-skilled workers. To maintain our global economic competitiveness, we must continue to attract the best and brightest in the world. This report is a blueprint for achieving that goal.”

“We haven’t updated our high-skilled immigration system in over 25 years, and we’re clearly seeing and feeling the consequences.  Every year, the huge demand for H-1B visas
which allow highly-skilled individuals to contribute their talents to the U.S. economyfar outpaces what is available, forcing the U.S. to miss out on the creation of American jobs. Immigrants are good for Americans; they contribute to our economy, and grow the middle class,” said FWD.us President Todd Schulte“We are proud to partner with the Hatch Foundation to release this new report, which underscores the urgent need for commonsense policies that would modernize our badly outdated legal immigration system, so that the best and the brightest from around the world can continue to bring their skills here to create new jobs and keep the U.S. competitive in the global economy.”  


In the report, FWD.us and the Hatch Foundation find that “America’s ability to attract, educate, and employ the world’s greatest talent has created a workforce pipeline that has fueled our economy, and we must continue to replenish that pipeline with fresh ideas and skill-sets from around the globe… Economists have understood for decades that high-skilled professionals working in the sciences and engineering are fundamental to driving innovation, technological adoption, and productivity.”

The full report is available [HERE].