The Chamber of Commerce has not been discouraged by the lack of legislative action on immigration reform. Instead, the business organization is digging in, pushing for an immigration overhaul as soon as possible.
“We’re going to use every tool and resource at our disposal. And we’re going to keep pushing our leaders to do the right thing for our country, if not before the election, then after–perhaps during a lame-duck session,” U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue declared Monday in a blog post.
Last month, President Obama announced he would be taking as many unilateral actions as he is able to overhaul the nation’s immigration system amid congressional intransigence. House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) has said that there will not be a vote on immigration reform until Obama can be trusted to implement what they pass.
According to Donohue, while leaders have shown they are unlikely to move forward with immigration reform in Congress this year, his body is not going to stop pushing for it.
“Those of us who have been fighting for years for meaningful reform are disappointed by the lack of progress,” he wrote. “But we’re not discouraged, and we’re not deterred. In fact, the business community and our coalition of partners–including labor, law enforcement, the tech sector, civic organizations, and the faith-based community–are more determined than ever to fix our broken system.”
The Chamber of Commerce has been a force for immigration reform, arguing that the reforms they seek will benefit the economy by expanding businesses’ access to more employees and attracting more business investment to the U.S.
Earlier this spring, Donohue said that, if the GOP did not pass immigration reform, they would not have a chance in the 2016 presidential election.
“If the Republicans don’t do it, they shouldn’t bother to run a candidate in 2016,” Donohue joked in May. “Think about that. Think about who the voters are. I just did that to get everybody’s attention.
Donohue’s blog post did not make reference to the influx of illegal immigration, largely from Central America, that has resulted in a crisis at the southern border. However, at a news conference last week, Donohue acknowledged that the surge has made moving the ball on immigration reform harder.
“You’re damn right, it makes it more difficult,” he said, according to the Jacksonville Business Journal .
Despite the difficultly, Donohue stressed Monday, “We know that immigration reform will ultimately get done–because it must get done.”