PARTICIPANTS

Laura Reiff

Laura was one of the founders of the organization with the name that‘s the favorite for most of our viewers -- EWIC. You say it just like it sounds, and it means the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition.

Along with John Gay and Randy Johnson, Laura had created EWIC to be an alliance of businesses, trade associations, and other organizations from across a range of industries that rely on less skilled and unskilled ("essential worker") labor. The point of EWIC was double-sided: to join forces to lobby for business‘ side in any future immigration reform, and to galvanize the business community to support prospective immigration legislation that would further EWIC‘s aim.

A lot of EWIC‘s members were, and are still, lobbyists. Laura is the immigration lawyer in the group, and she‘s been essential to EWIC from the start. In her own practice at Greenberg, Traurig, she focuses on business immigration laws and regulations affecting U.S. and foreign companies, as well as related employment compliance and legislative issues. So when it came to advising Senate or House offices on legislative language, it was always Laura who was drafted to do the work.

But at EWIC, everyone‘s focus is on legislative policy upcoming and underway, and that‘s what kept us returning to film their meetings again and again. The EWIC meetings were fantastically informative, and even more fun to watch -- so many very smart, very plugged in people with deep experience on and around Capitol Hill, all trying to piece together what each of them knew to figure out what was actually happening at any given moment, and ideally, how to influence whatever it was to be better.

It was nothing like the stereotyped version of lobbyists in the back room you might expect, but Laura -- and Randy and John -- often were at the table when legislation was being drafted. They were happy to offer their experience about what was likely to work, in real world terms, to staffers working on a deal. And Laura‘s experience, in particular, made her a trusted resource for many an office.

Over the years we kept shooting, through the very many bills that were proposed and launched in that time, Laura and EWIC remained flexible, always looking for the stuff they thought that might work, encouraging it, trying to make it better. Laura was remarkably gracious throughout, making it all look easy -- even when we knew very well it was anything but.

Laura is still a Co-Chair of EWIC, and now a Co-Managing Shareholder of Greenberg, Traurig,LLP.

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