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August 08, 2006

Contact your Representatives to Support Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Contact your Representatives to Support Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Both the House and Senate have passed very different immigration bills.

The Senate bill, S. 2611, is a good bipartisan blueprint for addressing both the security and economic needs of the country. The bill would increase border security and interior enforcement. It creates a new temporary worker program that would match an employer with a willing foreign worker when no U.S. workers can be found. This new program is critical for employers, particularly for industries that are already facing labor shortages. The bill also implements a way to deal with the estimated 12 million, allowing certain undocumented immigrants working in the U.S. to obtain legal status after meeting strict criteria. The bill still needs improvements, but currently provides the best framework for going forward.

The House bill, H.R. 4437, on the other hand, is very hard on the employer community. It mandates a massive new employer electronic/ telephonic government-run verification system, with huge increases in civil and criminal penalties. The verification system would apply to the entire workforce of over 7 million employers, and would require the re-verification of 140 million existing employees.

These two very different bills will now have to be negotiated into one bill, which will be a difficult endeavor. It is imperative that members of the House hear from business that any immigration reform needs to be comprehensive. The Chamber has long advanced comprehensive reform that secures our borders, creates an employment verification system that is fast and reliable, includes a temporary worker program that meets the current and future demand for workers, and provides avenues for certain undocumented workers to achieve legal status and ultimately permanent residency, provided strict criteria are met. Tell your Representative that we need comprehensive immigration reform legislation now.

If you have any questions, contact us at EWIC@uschamber.com.

Posted by VisaLawyer at August 8, 2006 07:47 AM

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