TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce supports H.R. 6136, the “Goodlatte II” Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2018 and will score votes on, or in relation to, this bill in our annual How They Voted scorecard.
It is long past time for Congress to act on the important task of fixing America’s broken immigration system. While no single bill is likely to resolve all of the many outstanding problems in current immigration laws, Goodlatte II is an important start.
- First, the bill would permanently address the plight of Dreamers by allowing them to become lawful permanent residents with the ability to obtain citizenship in the future.
- Second, this proposal would significantly improve border security.
- Third, this legislation would reprioritize the allocation of immigrant visas to better match America’s economic and workforce needs.
This legislation is not perfect, and even with its passage, much work will remain to address long-term immigration issues. For example, the bill should be revised to eliminate the small reduction in legal immigration in the future. It should provide adequate grandfathering for individuals who have approved visa petitions in the family-based immigrant visa preference categories being eliminated. Finally, we believe the bill could be expanded to address the pending rescission of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for individuals who have previously been allowed to legally live and work in the U.S. for an extended period of time; in some cases, individual TPS recipients have been legally working in the U.S. for two decades.
The United States is at a crossroads on immigration. Elected leaders must remember that the ability for someone to become an American is unique to our national identity and is part of what makes this nation great. Goodlatte II would improve border security, provide permanent relief for Dreamers, and institute modest reforms to the immigration system to better serve the nation’s economic interests.
Suzanne P. Clark
Senior Executive Vice President
U.S. Chamber of Commerce