Chamber of Commerce increases pressure over immigration reform

american-flag-immigrationThe US Chamber of Commerce has again renewed its call for immigration reform because of its belief that it would be good for the nation’s economy, and it is increasing pressure on Republicans in the House of Representatives to move on legislation in 2014.

Thomas J Donohue, the President of the Chamber, has posted a blog on its website, with a letter to John Boehner, the Speaker of the House, having been signed by no fewer than 636 business organizations including the likes of Facebook, Halliburton, Hewlett-Packard and Caterpillar.  “Failure to act is not an option,” the letter states.  “We cannot afford to be content and watch a dysfunctional immigration system work against our overall national interest.  In short, immigration reform is an essential element of a jobs agenda and economic growth.  It will add talent, innovation, investment, products, businesses, jobs and dynamism to our economy.”

The Chamber played a crucial role in developing the bill for comprehensive immigration reform that was passed by the Senate in June last year, with intensive negotiations between the AFL-CIO and the Chamber over the expansion of US visa programs for both low- and high-skilled workers resulting in the legislation being supported by both sides.

With immigration reform having again stalled in the House of Representatives, however, the Chamber is again attempting to use its influence with the Republican Party, which is normally friendly to business interests, to get them to move forward with the immigration reform principles that Boehner outlined last month.