Release Date: May 12, 2005Contact: 888-249-NEWS
U.S. Chamber Welcomes Bipartisan Immigration Reform Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Chamber of Commerce expressed its support for The Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act, a comprehensive immigration reform bill introduced today.
"House and Senate members are to be commended for their bipartisan effort to address the many difficult and controversial issues embedded in this country's current debate on the role of immigration," said Randel Johnson, Chamber vice president of labor, immigration and employee benefits.
"Our immigration and visa policy must improve our nation's security, address future labor shortages through a temporary worker program, and provide a reasonable mechanism for undocumented workers already here to qualify for legal status. While some significant issues remain to be resolved, this legislation meets those principles," said Johnson.
The bill, co-authored by Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Representatives Jim Kolbe (R-AZ), Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), will improve security and border enforcement; increase employer sanctions for knowingly hiring illegal aliens and establish an employment eligibility confirmation system; create a new temporary worker program; and provide undocumented workers who are in the country and working at the time of the bill's introduction a process to qualify for legal work status following security and background checks. The bill also provides for reimbursement to the states for certain health care expenses related to the treatment of undocumented immigrants.
"There is a long way to go before immigration reform legislation will be signed into law, and we are committed to working with these and other key Congressional leaders and the administration as this process move forward," said Johnson.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector and region.
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