Business Leaders Welcome President Obama's Proposal for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Last week, President Barack Obama delivered remarks in Las Vegas about fixing the broken immigration system so that it is fairer and helps grow the middle class by ensuring everyone plays by the same rules.

"I’m here because most Americans agree that it’s time to fix a system that’s been broken for way too long." President Obama said. "I’m here because business leaders, faith leaders, labor leaders, law enforcement, and leaders from both parties are coming together to say now is the time to find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as the land of opportunity.”

President Obama's proposal for immigration reform has four parts. First, continue to strengthen our borders. Second, crack down on companies that hire undocumented workers. Third, hold undocumented immigrants accountable before they can earn their citizenship; this means requiring undocumented workers to pay their taxes and a penalty, move to the back of the line, learn English, and pass background checks. Fourth, streamline the legal immigration system for families, workers, and employers.

In response to the President’s remarks, a number of business leaders across the nation issued statements applauding the President for his leadership.  Here are a few of those statements:

Business Roundtable

“The CEOs of Business Roundtable, who lead major American companies operating in every sector of the economy, are encouraged that President Obama and a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators are proposing comprehensive immigration reform. America needs a modern immigration system that allows talent from around the world to contribute to the U.S. economy, enhancing U.S. competitiveness and spurring economic growth.”

Partnership for a New American Economy

“Today's immigration speech by President Obama, coming on the heels of yesterday's announcement of bipartisan agreement on reform principles by the Senate ‘Gang of Eight,’ shows that there is broad support to modernize our immigration system in a way that helps grow our economy and attract the world’s most talented and hardest-working. It's time to move from politics to policy by passing a bipartisan bill that brings an immigration system formed in the 1960s into a 21st century global economy. We commend the President and the bipartisan group of Senators for the leadership they are showing to get us there.”

Texas Immigration Solution

“A year ago, during the primary elections, the Republican Party — and I am a proud conservative — was doing a really bad job on the immigration issue. But we are now finally seeing many people in our party open to immigration solutions vs. immigration rhetoric. These are exciting times,” said Brad Bailey, Founder and CEO of the Texas Immigration Solution. “We must attract the hardest-working individuals and entrepreneurs to our shores. As an employer, I can tell you first-hand about the importance of filling the demand for jobs, from the engineer to the restaurant worker.”

Caesars Entertainment

“Nevada suffers from a very poor economic situation. Regularizing immigration will be a stimulus to growth and in that respect will really begin to help the area’s economy,”  - Caesars Entertainment CEO Gary Loveman

“I’m enormously supportive of this proposal,” Loveman said. “I think all of the steps are the right ones, and it does a good job of being fair to everyone.”

National Retail Federation

“Our current immigration system is broken and unworkable, and it is in desperate need of reform. We applaud the President’s commitment and Congress’ resolve to address immigration reform this year.”

“NRF has been and continues to be a strong advocate for bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform. In order to compete in the global marketplace, where trade and talent are borderless, the United States needs an immigration and visa system that is both agile and responsive, and addresses employers’ needs and demands and those of today’s more agile and transient workforce.”

For more information:

Ari Matusiak is the Director of Private Sector Engagment and Executive Director of the White House Buisness Council
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