What is in this article?:
- Senators offer framework for immigration reform
- Garnering industry support
The reform would provide a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants currently residing in the United States.
Garnering industry support
“We are encouraged by the renewed bipartisan commitment to fix our broken immigration system,” said Scott DeFife, executive vice president of Policy and Government Affairs for the National Restaurant Association, in a statement. “As the nation’s second-largest private sector employer, the National Restaurant Association continues to support federal immigration reforms that include a legal visa system that meets the needs of U.S. employers.”
At the same time, DeFife said, “An accurate and reliable employment verification system is one part of the fix that is needed to make immigration laws work for U.S. businesses and the U.S. economy. But it’s only a first step — eventually, worksite enforcement must be accompanied by provisions that give employers who have made every reasonable effort to hire Americans a way to hire legal foreign workers to keep their businesses open and contributing to the U.S. economy.”
Rob Green, president of the National Council of Chain Restaurants, said his organization was “encouraged and looking ahead [to movement on the immigration reform issue] in more positive way than it had in the past," adding, “without more specific language, we remain as cautious as we are optimistic.”
Meanwhile, Green said he believed immigration reform stood a better chance of passing this year than it has in a number of years, given the administration’s support as well as more bipartisan support in Congress. “It feels different this time around,” he said. “But it has to be done carefully. Right now we’re still waiting for the table to be set.”
In a statement, Steve Caldeira, president and chief executiveof the International Franchise Association, said,the IFA “strongly supports the outline for immigration reform issued by the bipartisan group of senators. While there are many details yet to be decided, the basic framework is a significant step toward much-needed comprehensive immigration reform.
“With service sector jobs projected to grow one-and-a-half times faster than non-service sector jobs over the next decade, the IFA looks forward to a workable solution that allows legal immigrant workers into the United States so that our industry can meet the need for lower-skilled workers where franchises businesses are concentrated, such as restaurants, hotels, and service-related businesses,” he said.
While Washington’s attempts to overhaul immigration laws have met with little success, Sen. John McCain, appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” said he believed “the time is right” for immigration reform.