Businesses demand action on immigration reform

Hundreds of business groups and Republican Party donors called for action in regards to immigration reform yesterday, trying to increase the pressure on the House of Representatives as lawmakers get set to exit Washington for their five-week summer recess.

Two separate letters have been released, one of which has been signed by over 400 top businesses, chambers of commerce and more, with the second also having been signed by almost 100 donors to the Republican Party, including boldface names such as strategist Karl Rove and former Vice President Dan Quayle.  Both letters attempt to frame the current debate over immigration reform partly in economic terms in an attempt to sway Republicans in the House of Representatives, who are in the midst of debating how they can move forward with legislation following the passing of a comprehensive immigration bill by the Senate that included border security, visa reforms and eventual US citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States.

Action is not expected to take place until the fall in the House of Representatives, at which point Republicans may try to advance a series of piecemeal single-issue bills starting with border security.  The House’s potential at being able to reach a final package to give to President Obama is seen as highly doubtful.

The letter argues that the current immigration system is “completely incapable” of being able to respond to global competition or the national economy and that “failure to act is not an option.”