August 24, 2013


Quietly, businesses help reshape US immigration debate (Reuters, AUGUST 24, 2013)

As lawmakers return to their home districts in the final weeks of summer, hundreds of US businesses have quietly mobilized to persuade Republicans such as Poe that an immigration overhaul is broadly supported by their constituents, even if some conservative activists loudly object.  

The low-key strategy by businesses, along with a decision by several conservative lawmakers to spend the month campaigning against President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul, appears to have lowered the temperature of the immigration debate.  Public "town hall" meetings held by members of Congress this month generally have not disintegrated into the raucous, racially tinged sessions on immigration that some had feared.  

As a result, many involved in the effort are cautiously optimistic that one of their top priorities of the past decade could become a reality sometime in the next year and a half - even though huge obstacles remain in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.  

"We're confident that this is going to get done sooner rather than later," said Glenn Hamer, president of the Arizona Chamber of Business and Industry.  

Immigration reform has long been a top priority for business groups such as the US Chamber of Commerce, which say that current laws and regulations make it too difficult to find workers they can't recruit at home and expose businesses to a tangle of conflicting labor regulations.

Posted by at August 24, 2013 1:04 PM

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