The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce is firmly of the belief that new arrivals are vital both in order to fill jobs and because of their entrepreneurial vision. Immigration reform may have been sputtering in the House of Representatives since August, but the sheer breadth of the coalition that is in favor of immigration reform is giving some encouragement to Bill Blazar.
Blazar is the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce’s second in command and has been trying to make the case for comprehensive immigration reform all over the state, having recently written an op-ed piece in collaboration with the AFL-CIO leadership. The Chamber is not often in agreement with the AFL-CIO, but on this issue they are very much on the same page.
Blazar is adamant that immigration reform is crucial to the economy of Minnesota. “The immigrant role in the economy is broader than as a worker,” Blazar says. “A lot of Minnesota businesses get started by people who weren’t born here, and as much as the state’s economy has changed, we still depend a lot on the start-up and success of new companies. When you just think about the contributions of immigrants as entrepreneurs… but also as consumers and as a bridge to the world economy, ours is purely an economic argument.”
Blazar also adds that he is confident that immigration reform will get passed by the House of Representatives in spite of their apparent dawdling on the issue, because of the sheer amount of disparate areas in which support is coming for reform.