Release Date: May 25, 2006Contact: 888-249-NEWS
U.S. Chamber Welcomes Bipartisan Immigration Reform Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Chamber of Commerce praised the Senate for passing S. 2611, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006.
"This bill constitutes a sound bipartisan legislative blueprint which addresses both the security and economic needs of the country," said Randel Johnson, Chamber vice president of labor, immigration and employee benefits. "This is a huge step forward in tackling the need to reform our immigration laws, and we thank the Senate for its hard work."
The bill is designed to improve security and border enforcement, it increases employer sanctions for knowingly hiring illegal aliens and establishes an employment eligibility confirmation system. The bill addresses the country's need for workers by creating a new temporary worker program and implements a workable way to deal with the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants working in the U.S. by providing avenues for certain undocumented workers to achieve legal status and ultimately lawful permanent residency, provided strict criteria are met.
Though the Chamber considers this bill a major step toward providing a workable solution to the issue of the nation's broken immigration system, it does have concerns with certain provisions of the bill, and many changes will need to be made before the bill becomes law. The new employment verification system, as well as the prevailing wage requirements under the temporary worker program, need particular attention.
"While some significant issues remain to be resolved, this legislation meets our major priorities and we are hopeful that our concerns can be resolved by House and Senate conferees," said Johnson.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector and region.
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