Industries Favor President’s Immigration Plan

Jan 08, 2004

By George Anderson

Few political topics bring up the emotional responses people have to the subject of illegal immigrants.

Are these people simply filling jobs Americans wouldn’t because they offer low pay for very hard work or are they necessary to promote the workings of the economy?

President Bush’s proposal to grant temporary visas to allow illegal aliens to temporarily work in the U.S. is drawing fire from many quarters, but it is also being supported
by industries, including agriculture and hospitality.

Joe McInerney, president of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, told Reuters, “There is a tremendous need in the hospitality industry for people filling jobs that
most Americans don’t want to do. We need to use labor from other parts of the world.”

Lee Culpepper, chief lobbyist for the National Restaurant Association, told the wire service, “I don’t know that I would characterize it as a boon…I do think it would be
an important step in addressing the legal status of employees across the country.”

Moderator’s Comment: Should the retailing and consumer goods industries support passage of Mr. Bush’s proposal to address the issue of illegal immigration?
Why or not?

It’s clear to all with eyes that the current immigration systems isn’t working for anyone, illegal immigrants or American citizens.

Proponents of Mr. Bush’s bill will point out that it just faces reality and tries to keep the money being earned here in the U.S., rather than being sent
out of the country.

Some critics will argue that there are plenty of Americans to fill the jobs. What needs changing is the wages paid to those doing the work. The crime here
is not in someone working illegally in the country, but that they get paid a wage no one in this country (and any other) should have to work for.

Theresa Brown, director of immigration policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce offered this perspective: “Most economists are predicting that we are going
to be right back to (labor) shortages in a short period of time if our economy picks up. We need to address both the status of those who are already here and how we meet future
workforce needs with a viable legal immigration system.”
Anderson – Moderator

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