Businesses Need Immigration Reform
This summer, there were many news reports about apples in Washington State rotting on the trees, unpicked. Why? The farmers could not find sufficient labor to pick them. Sensible immigration reform will help scores of business owners. Our Immigration laws need to change to reflect economic reality and the core values that make up our society. Sensible immigration reform would bring immigrants out of the shadows so that they could work legally and be hired legally by employers who need them.
Most undocumented workers are law-abiding, hardworking individuals who pay their taxes and contribute to our society. They are our neighbors, fellow community members, worshippers, and friends. They are essential to many sectors of our economy. Many of them want to stay in America and be full-fledged members of our society, but they have no legal means to do so.
Reform will make our nation more secure. We need a fair, orderly, controlled system that reflects our nation’s values and restores the rule of law. We need to know who is here and who is coming into our country. The way to control our borders and to increase our security is to reform our immigration laws so that legality becomes the norm once again.
To reform our immigration system effectively and realistically, we must enact comprehensive legislation along the lines of the bipartisan Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act. Such reform would:
- Match willing workers with willing employers.
- Offer people already here the opportunity to earn their way to legal status by working, paying taxes, learning English, and being committed to American values.
- Reunite close family members, some of whom have been separated for twenty years.
- Enhance our enforcement efforts and security by helping us know who is here and keep out those who mean us harm.
- Facilitate the cross-border flow of people and goods that is essential to our economy. A vibrant economy, in turn, is essential to fund our security needs.
The Earned Legalization proposed by the US Senate is in no way an amnesty: under the Senate’s proposal an undocumented foreign national would have to demonstrate past work history, pay significant fines, work prospectively for a six-year period, undergo security and background checks, learn English and American civics, pay back taxes, and more. It is disingenuous to call that “amnesty.”