A number of House Republicans have consistently said they have no interest in passing the Senate's bill that would ultimately lead to a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. There has been some discussion about a Dream Act type of bill, but nothing proposed so far.
And instead of this being an intense topic of discussion during congressional town hall meetings this summer (if you could find one), all the oxygen in the room went toward the fissure amongst Republicans debating whether or not it was appropriate to defund the government if President Obama didn't defund Obamacare.
But nevertheless, the Tampa Chamber of Commerce issued a statement today saying that they support comprehensive immigration reform.
We need to continue to be a growing immigrant nation and we cannot do so in a productive manner under the current immigration system. This impacts all of us, including the business community.
The nation is aging and our growth is slow under historical rates. Employment and payrolls as a percentage of the population are decreasing, which places limits on economic growth and the ability to increase the tax revenue derived from having more workers.
To grow economically, we need to attract and retain junior workers and we need more skilled workers, among other business needs that can be served by immigration reform. As an example, proper immigration reform can allow us to retain the foreign students that want to stay in the US after graduation and can slow the exporting of skilled jobs that migrate offshore due to a lack of such workers in the USA.
The Senate immigration bill addresses a number of important objectives that will benefit the business community. In negotiations with the House, other business goals can be addressed, such as increasing the number of guest-workers to help address the dynamics of our economy and demand for labor.
A predictable and reliable immigration system that attracts and rewards more people that yearn to pursue economic freedom and prosperity in our country is good for business. We urge compromise on both sides to pass a pro-growth and comprehensive immigration reform law.