US Chamber of Commerce Pres: Pass Amnesty Now Before It Gets Tougher
Saying the political landscape will not be more conducive to amnesty legislation in two or four years, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue wrote on Monday that immigration reform must happen now.
Donohue has previously said that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce would "pull out all the stops" to get immigration reform this year. The group reportedly plans to spend $50 million to blunt the influence of the Tea Party, largely because it opposes amnesty, and millions more to push for immigration reform legislation that the Congressional Budget Office has said would lower the wages of American workers.
Donohue wrote that "a system in which more than 11 million undocumented immigrants are living and working in our communities in de facto amnesty is indefensible" and claimed that "immigrants do not typically compete with Americans for jobs" and "serve as a complement to U.S.-born workers and can help fill labor shortages across the skill spectrum and in key sectors."
He claims that "support for reform has never been stronger" even though Gallup found that only three percent of Americans view it as a top issue. He also said amnesty proponents "include lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, as well as labor, business, law enforcement, ethnic organizations, religious groups, and the high-tech industry" without mentioning that many of these groups are front-groups supported by left-wing donors like George Soros.
"There will never be a perfect time for reform. The political landscape isn’t going to be any more conducive to reform in two years or four years," he wrote. "The case for immigration reform is clear. The need is undeniable. The time is now."
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has repeatedly emphasized that big-business interests want immigration reform legislation to get cheaper labor at the expense of the those in America's working class that are struggling in Obama's economy.
“House leaders should support—not ignore—the immigration officers pleading for help,” Sessions has said. “They should stand with—not against—unemployed American workers. And they should expose—not join—the president’s campaign to pass an immigration plan that will hollow out our shrinking middle class.”
Amnesty proponents have a sense of urgency after momentum for the House GOP leadership's "immigration principles" stalled after Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) blasted it as amnesty. Democrats who want amnesty like Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have said that this year is the last chance for amnesty legislation to pass.