This week, the full Senate began to debate comprehensive immigration reform. It will not be an easy endeavor, but we need to fix our broken immigration system. For too long, manufacturers in all sectors have struggled to hire the talent necessary to remain globally competitive. We have a chance to correct that problem in the form of S. 744, The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, but it is going to take leadership for Senators to vote in favor of a momentous change.
Earlier today, the NAM hosted a dual-city town hall discussion in Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis, Minn. to focus attention on the importance of comprehensive immigration reform for manufacturers and what’s at stake for America in the weeks ahead. “Comprehensive immigration reform will strengthen our economic and national security. And, it’s the right thing to do,” NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons and Cargill Chairman and CEO Gregory Page said in a joint statement. “Yet, the success of comprehensive reform is not ensured. If it fails, it may be years before we have another opportunity. As the Senate takes up its bill this week, right now is our best shot to draw attention to the issue.”
Representative Paul Ryan was a panelist at the event stating “immigration reform will help us get the labor force we need for economic growth.” He also said he believes the House can pass immigration reform legislation.
Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) recently announced she will support the comprehensive immigration reform legislation and the NAM would like to commend her for her thoughtful decision. Gerry Letendre, CEO of Diamond Casting, a New Hampshire based small business, agrees and praised Senator Ayotte for recognizing that immigration reform is about innovation and job creation for Americans. “Immigration reform is an important step towards creating the jobs we need to be competitive” said Letendre. “I strongly support Senator Ayotte’s commitment to reform and job creation in New Hampshire.”
The NAM believe immigration reform can happen and manufacturers are determined to make it a reality.