Thursday, February 27, 2014

Chamber president: Immigration is a good thing

The Charlotte Chamber was among 636 businesses and business advocacy groups urging House Speaker John Boehner this week to make immigration reform happen.

Charlotte Chamber President Bob Morgan told the Observer editorial board this morning that immigration is good for business.

"The 12 to 13 million people who are here illegally, it's not practical to suggest that they leave. They're part of the workforce, they're part of the economy. Let's figure out a way to make them legal," Morgan said.

"Immigration is a good thing. Economies grow when populations grow. Immigration is a key way we keep our population and economy growing. Let's don't close the border; let's be smart about it but use immigration to our advantage, because the U.S. is a very attractive destination for people from all over the globe."

Morgan added, "Immigrants are not just labor, they are also consumers and that's good for business."

In their letter to Boehner, the business groups say "failure to act is not an option."

"We are united in the belief that we can and must do better for our economy and country by modernizing our immigration system. ... We cannot afford to be content and watch a dysfunctional immigration system work against our overall national interest."

Boehner has said immigration reform is unlikely to pass the House this year. The business community hopes its pressure will change that by persuading business-friendly Republicans to join Democrats pushing reform. The U.S. Chamber was instrumental in crafting the bill that passed the Senate with bipartisan support last year before stalling in the House.

Other groups that signed this week's letter include the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce along with the N.C. Chamber and the Chambers in Durham and Raleigh.

The letter was released by the U.S. Chamber and the Partnership for a New American Economy, an advocacy group of mayors and businesses that support immigration reform.

Here is the full letter:

Dear Mr. Speaker:
The undersigned 636 business organizations are encouraged by the House Republican Conference’s review of “Standards for Immigration Reform.” We support Congress and the Administration moving forward on immigration reform using these Standards as the guideposts for action this year.  
We are united in the belief that we can and must do better for our economy and country by modernizing our immigration system. Done properly, reform will deter illegal immigration, protect and complement our U.S. workforce, better respond to changing economic and demographic needs, and generate greater productivity and economic activity, while respecting family unity.
Failure to act is not an option. We cannot afford to be content and watch a dysfunctional immigration system work against our overall national interest. In short, immigration reform is an essential element of a jobs agenda and economic growth. It will add talent, innovation, investment, products, businesses, jobs, and dynamism to our economy.  
We urge legislative action to seize this opportunity to fix our dysfunctional immigration system by enacting meaningful immigration reforms this year.

20 comments:

Shamash said...

Yeah, too bad these immigrants AREN'T from "all over the globe", though.

We need some balance in immigration.

MOST of our immigrants (especially the illegal ones) are from the South of our border.

And they usually have lower skill levels.

Unfortunately, they also need the most services.

Especially from our schools and medical facilities.

We need to be making it easier for educated foreigners with higher level skills to emigrate to the US to balance the flood of low-skilled illegal immigrants.

But, of course, that won't happen.

The majority of the people immigrating here now will just become part of a permanent underclass no matter what we give them.

Is that what we need?

WashuOtaku said...

Of course immigration is a good thing, when done legally. Providing amnesty to the 10-11 million illegal simply encourages more to do the same and doesn't solve anything. History teaches us this in 1986 when Regan gave amnesty to 5-6 million at that time. No other country would do this, not even in Europe, where the French regularly ship-off the Roma back to either Romania or Bulgaria.

Since Obama has made a deal to keep "Dreamers" in the United States, more kids have been crossing into Texas in the last couple of years... this isn't good. I agree immigration reform is needed, but since Democrats typically want amnesty, and Republicans want a rigid system... the likelihood it happening on Obama's watch is slim.

Wiley Coyote said...

Notice nothing was said about locking the gate first and having them come through the front door.

NO immigration reform until the border is closed to a point where people are forced to fill out the proper paperwork and com through the front door like 1 million others do each year.

Lana said...

There's an interesting coincidence (well it's not a coincidence at all) that ties together three central issues:

- immigration
- the minimum wage
- inflation

The flashpoint is 1968. 1968 is the year when the minimum wage had its maximum purchasing power. 1968 also marks the midpoint between the time that the US abandoned silver coins and Nixon abandoned the gold standard. And... it was the year that Ted Kennedy's 1965 immigration bill actually took effect.

Since 1968, the minimum wage has lost 1/2 of its purchasing power, inflation has run rampant (a 6 cent stamp now costs 49 cents) and we have 11 million illegal immigrants.

The solutions are obvious and simple:

- Re-enact the bipartisan Eisenhower/Fulbright "Operation Wetback", which in the late 50's resulted in the voluntary self-deportation of most illegal immigrants

- Re-link the dollar to silver/gold/copper as the Founders did with the original Coinage Act of 1792, which established DEATH as the penalty for currency debasement

Unknown said...

Illegal immigrants are a root cause of unemployment and underemployment. Some say they take jobs Americans don't want, but that's just an empty piece of propaganda that no longer fools anyone. The reason the C of C is in favor of immigration is to control wages...and it has worked rather well for the last 25 years to do just that.

There can be no doubt that all future employment will be computer assisted, greatly increasing productivity. Future competition will be breath-taking. Plenty of studies out there to support this idea, it's pretty much taken as a solid prediction by those who study these issues. So then why would we want low-skilled and fecund immigrants? Won't this undermine our own citizens? Do we want more people just to grow the Walmart retail market? Won't this create terrific friction in our society for no good reason?

Don't look for civic argument from the Chamber of Commerce? Rather, it's a matter of "cui bono_ that is to say, "who benefits?"

rky84 said...

Lana, 1968 may have been the peak of purchasing power, but today's rate is still above the average over the last 60 years; and no it hasn't lost 1/2 of its purchasing power since 1968. Some, but not 1/2. The 1968 wage (which had just been increased that year) would be worth about $10.75 in today's dollars. It was much lower than that (in constant dollars) before 1968 and after 1968.

Edward Negma said...

Over 81% of illegals in the US are from Mexico and Latin America. Most of these people have only an 8th grade education because Mexico and many other nations do not provide public education beyond the 8th grade. This means many of these illegals are functionally illiterate even in their own native language. So, they have little to no education. Little to no skills. Little to no money. And profit-minded businesses and vote-minded politicians all telling us, these illegals are good for us. Baloney.

Meanwhile, the nation of Mexico is blessed with tremendous resources, but the government and business leaders there fail to use these resources to everyone's benefit even though Mexico is home to some of the world's wealthiest people. So instead, the Mexican government encourages their least educated and penniless citizens to move north to the US and violate our laws and work here illegally. In return, these illegals send back to Mexico close to $40 billion each year in earnings, which is the single largest cash income for the nation of Mexico. And then the president of Mexico becomes enraged when our nation refuses to provide amnesty or increase legal immigration quotas. Yes, he is mad at us for not picking up the slack of his government. The government of Mexico is using its poor people to steal from our economy and we are losing $40 billion each year. Thats equal to 1 million jobs, each paying $40,000 per year being sent to Mexico in cash remittances. And what is our government doing to stop this invasion and theft? Nothing. But you can. You can stand up to these users. You can protect our resources. You can help put our own people back to work. You can support tough immigration enforcement and tell your politicians to do their job and protect our nation and our economy.

mike jones said...

no amnesty!!

mike jones said...

no amnesty!!

mike jones said...

NO AMNESTY..

mike jones said...

The Chamber of Commerce and other big business interests must be living on some weird parallel planet where every American has opportunity for a good job, and growing businesses are shuttering plants for lack of workers. What a laugh!

Donahue released a letter signed by 636 business groups complaining that the lack of job-seeking Americans was stifling economic growth. Unfortunately, Congressional leaders of both parties desperately covet the support of big business groups.

Fortunately, America isn't buying Donahue's nonsense. And we have the polls to prove it. We're making sure Congress knows it. So far, thanks to our members, rank-and-file Republican representatives -- and a dozen Democrats -- have not agreed to immigration increases this year. But we need your help to make sure these representatives continue to resist pressure from their leadership.

On Monday, Donahue claimed, "Polls consistently show that the majority of voters believe the status quo on immigration is unacceptable." He's got that right. But Americans actually want less immigration, not more.

A new national poll by Pulse Opinion Research found that three-fourths (73%) believe that there are plenty of Americans who would take those jobs. Only 10% believe that America needs more workers. Some of the other Pulse findings are remarkable:

By five to one (68% to 14%), Americans believe that when a business can't find a worker, they should offer better wages, not import more cheap labor. And by six to one (74% to 13%), they believe that workers should train jobless American workers rather than recruit oversees.

The open borders lobby has spent literally $ billions to force America to go along with them. But after all of that, they still can't close the deal in the House of Representatives. As you recall, a few weeks ago Republican leaders released "immigration principles" which included an amnesty and even more legal immigrant workers.

NumbersUSA members protested, and you were heard. To date, only 19 Republican Representatives say they would support those principles of their own party leadership.

But the vast number of Republican congressmen have remained uncommitted. Until at least half have openly opposed those principles, we still run the risk of the House passing legalization when voters aren't looking.

It's not enough that a congressman says he opposes "amnesty." We need your help to lock in opposition to "legalization" in the House. Will you help us?
join NUMBERSUSA OFFICIAL SITE....

Unknown said...

No amnesty. I have been a Charlotte businessman for 28 years and understand these people have a great work ethic. They also come from a socialist country and will break the back of our economy. Give them a worker status which means great to have you work here but you cannot vote, no free healthcare, no ebt(food stamps), these folks send 60% of earnings back home to their families. The number is also not 13 million it is over 20 million with some estimates being 30 million plus. It amazes me that a Chamber rep takes an ill informed stance getting in line with establishment rehtoric.

Unknown said...

The solution is right in front of Washington's nose and we have had the system in place for years. Worker status in the Agriculture business has been in place for decades . They pay taxes, consume here live here then go home or stay here as long as you want with a worker classification and go through the current process of being a citizen if you want to become a citizen.

alwaystomorroww said...

I remember when Obama was going to stop work visas for skilled labor that he asserted was taking jobs from Americans back in the early part of his first term. Anybody else remember that one? The guy has quite a range of convictions.

Anna Gallant Carter said...

I support the Chamber's stand on immigration reform and appreciate Bob Morgan's letter.
Thank you.

Alan Gordon said...

Several of the negative comments to immigration reform identify illegal immigrants as being the "root cause' of unemployment but offer no evidence.

A study released in 2012 "Then and Now; America's New Immigrant Entrepreneurs VII" reported that 25% of the nation's start-up companies were founded by immigrants in the period prior to 2006. That number increased to >50% when looking at Silicon Valley start-ups. However, the number of national immigrant start-up companies have decreased over the past six years, dropping to 24%. The dysfunctional business immigration system is driving away entrepreneurs and innovators. American universities are opening branches in China, India and elsewhere, educating and training a new generation of potential innovators and entrepreneurs in those countries. To promote technology development and entrepreneurship in US, we must encourage and foster policies designed to encourage immigration of highly skilled foreign nationals. The Senate bill eliminates visa quotas established more than 70 years ago that would address the absurd situation in which many Employers find themselves. Currently, it may take more than 10 years to get an employment-based greencard for a skilled worker. The process starts with an employer conducting recruitment to identify a qualified worker. After no qualified applicants respond, the employer files an application with the DOL. If Department of Labor confirms that there are no qualified applicants, the company must then file a petition with Department of Homeland Security. When that is approved, the company may have wait 10 to 12 years for a highly skilled foreign national to allowed to fill the position. Reform is critical.

Others complain that no action should be taken on legalizing the 12-13 million undocumented foreign nationals until the borders are secured. The Senate bill requires implementation of a Comprehensive Southern Border Strategy, achieving effectiveness rate of 90% before legalization can move forward.

The Senate bill is not perfect, but it addresses many of the critical deficiencies of our current immigration system. The system is broken. Congress must act now to strengthen our economy and increase our security. Thank you, Chamber of Commerce!

Alan Gordon, Esq.
Chairman, Mayor's Immigration Study Commission (2006 - 2007)

Shamash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shamash said...

Alan Gordon, Esq.

Nice how you switched from "illegal immigration" to "legal immigration" as if they are the same.

I guess you think all us non-Esquires are too dumb to notice that.

So how many of those ILLEGAL immigrants are starting companies in Silicon Valley?

Where's your evidence for THAT?

I think most of us realize the difference between a college educated engineer from China or India and the vast majority of illegal (mostly MEXICAN) immigrants who have flooded our country.

I'm in favor of bringing in more educated foreigners and less low-skilled "laborers".

Most of them don't work the farms, anyway.

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