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New Year, renewed chance for immigration reform

We didn’t have to wait long for the first sign of good news for immigration reform in 2014.

On New Year’s Day, The New York Times summed it up with this headline: “Boehner Is Said to Back Change on Immigration.”

The immigration debate increasingly centers on the positive impact immigrants have on the economy and the jobs they create in communities across the country. This year, acting on immigration reform is one of the best things Congress and the president could do to spur the economy and create jobs.

Regional Economic Models Inc. estimates that expanding the H-1B Visa program would add 790 new high-skilled professionals to Arizona’s economy in 2014. This would create a domino effect and result in more than 3,200 total new jobs this year and roughly 5,900 by 2020. Additionally, it would increase the Gross State Product by more than $296 million this year.

Immigration reform will do more than just benefit Arizona — it will benefit the entire country. According to the Congressional Budget Office analysis, comprehensive immigration reform would reduce the deficit by $197 billion over the next decade and $700 billion in the next 20 years.

Last fall, we traveled to Washington, D.C., as part of a large business, faith and law enforcement coalition to urge Congress to act on immigration reform legislation. Business leaders are working with congressional members to ensure immigration reform remains a top priority for action in Congress. During our visit, the coalition met with each of Arizona’s nine representatives. The overwhelming support from the business community on this issue is recognized, and our coalition was well received by our Arizona congressional delegates.

Our Arizona delegates know this issue well. We are thankful for Rep. Matt Salmon and his years of experience on this issue, and also thank each of our House members who have met in earnest with our senators and House leadership to move this issue toward the finish line.

In order to ensure the competitive standing and economic strength of Arizona and the United States, we must have a robust and fair process that promotes legal immigration while securing our nation’s borders.

In this New Year there is recognition from House leadership that this issue must be acted on.

Moving forward, we need a majority in the Senate and the administration to show that they are willing to be honest brokers with the House. This will go a long way to building the trust needed to make progress on this issue. Only with trust that the Senate and the administration won’t make a political issue out of an eventual conference committee will the House be willing to pass what it can and move forward.

Step by step, piece by piece, with the support of business and community leaders, we can build an immigration system that will support our nation’s values and goals, while ensuring that our country is globally competitive and positioned for a prosperous future.

— Scott Celley is principal of Trifecta Communications and a board member of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. Russell Johnson is president & CEO of Merchants Information Solutions Inc. and a board member of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. Chad Heinrich is vice president of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.

One comment


    ANOTHER AMNESTY will devastate the working people of America.

    Although promised emphatically in the 1986 amnesty for illegal aliens, the laws were never enforced. So strictly speaking Americans are taking a massive chance, trusting either side of the Congressional aisle in Washington. With over a 10 million Americans still seeking work and another 6 million either given up or not seeking a job, there should no thoughts of pressing for the objectionable Senate bill or the Republicans set of new policies. We certainly can do without another 30 million illiterate people; as many will end up on welfare; meaning cash payments for illegal parents for their children; more food stamps; billions of dollars for already overcrowded schools; then health care will become a catastrophe. YOU WILL PAY FOR IT ALL; NOT THE EMPLOYERS WHO WANT CHEAP LABOR? The only true Conservatives who will enforce immigration are the “Break-away” Peoples TEA PARTY dot org. President Barack Obama is pushing for amnesty even though the Congressional Budget Office determined it will devastate the wages of working class Americans. If Washington gets its way we will lose our jobs to illegals. We will be forced to pay even more outrageous health care costs to pay for these law-breakers. They already openly defy our laws, deface our flags and feed off our system. What will happen if they’re rewarded for their illegal and illicit activities? Backdoor Amnesty: Deportation Cases Closed by ‘Prosecutorial Discretion’ so illegal immigrants walk free. This man has continuously violated “THE RULE OF LAW.”

    The more Tea Party members elected into the Senate or house will decide a greater future. They will build the Real, two fences along the border and will implement E-Verify with no loopholes; prosecuting incorrigible employers who believe they are above the law. The Birthright Citizenship law will be presented for review by the highest court in the land, and foreign nationals entering through the borders, by aircraft as an ‘Overstay’ will be treated as a felony. Very few politicians deserve any reprieve from being thrown out of office, including Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner. The Tea Party has grown in mega-membership of Americans from every Race, religion and political relationship, who have been lied to, by arrogant and delusional bunch of narrow-minded people and have unceasingly ignored the will of the people. Numbersusa, a grassroots organization, sees the danger of overpopulation the socialist factions don’t? Fax for FREE Congress – Tell them to secure the borders first! petitions.conservativeactionalerts.com. . Use your voice and slam the switchboard in Washington DC at (202) 224-3121.

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