An overwhelming number of Midwestern business leaders support a pathway to citizenship for all of the country’s illegal immigrants even though a majority also concede that immigration reform will negatively impact the job security of American workers.
A recent survey released by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs found that 63% of Midwestern business leaders support a pathway to citizenship for the country’s illegal immigrants, while 75% support giving legal status to illegal immigrants.
The survey also found that immigration reform unites the business elite – 75% of Republican, “63 percent of Democrat and 55 percent of Independent Midwest business leaders surveyed favor the Senate bill on comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship.” There is less support for the “step-by-step” approach favored by House leaders.
Yet a majority of business leaders surveyed (58%) “anticipate negative impacts on American job security.” They were also divided on “whether immigration at current levels is good or bad for Midwestern job creation (49% each).”
The survey, which was fielded last year, “included senior management from 175 small businesses, 175 medium businesses, and 150 large businesses that broadly represented the mix of industries located in the 12-state Midwest region.”
After releasing their “immigration principles” last week, House GOP leaders have refused to answer whether immigration legislation emerging from the House will eventually allow a path to citizenship. Those opposed to amnesty have emphasized that various pathway to citizenship provisions would lower the wages of American workers, which is what the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office also determined would be the case.
Big-business groups – like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and high-tech industry lobbyists – are reportedly planning to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to try to ram immigration reform through this year.