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Chamber Urges Passage of Expanded Temporary Worker Program

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 - 8:00pm

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In testimony before the House Education and the Workforce Committee, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce highlighted the need for Congress to provide a workable, adequate temporary worker program.

"Demographic and job growth projections—combined with numerous reports from employers across the country faced with the day-to-day realities of the workplace—indicate that this country is facing a rapidly growing shortage of workers in many areas of the economy," said Elizabeth Dickson, Immigration Services Manager for the Ingersoll Rand Company and Chair of the U.S. Chamber Immigration Policy Subcommittee, testifying on behalf of the Chamber.

Dickson explained that current temporary worker programs are inadequate to meet the challenges of the future and urged lawmakers to create an expanded temporary worker program without numerous bureaucratic hurdles that employers could use to fill jobs with immigrant workers when U.S. workers are not available. Creating such a system would eliminate the "job magnet" which now spurs illegal immigration as those jobs would be filled through the new temporary worker program.

"It is clear that an economy cannot expand without the workers it needs and an expanding economy benefits everyone," said Dickson. "A temporary worker program can be the solution to ensure U.S. companies have enough workers to fill the jobs they are creating."

The U.S. Chamber is the world's largest business federation, representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.

The testimony can be viewed here.

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