Chamber of Commerce, Big Business to Boehner: 'Failure to Act' on Amnesty 'Not an Option'

The Chamber of Commerce and 635 big businesses, including Facebook, sent a letter on Tuesday to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) urging “legislative action to seize this opportunity to fix our dysfunctional immigration system by enacting meaningful immigration reforms this year.”

Saying they are encouraged by the House GOP leadership’s “immigration principles” that they consider “guideposts,” the business organizations wrote that they are “united in the belief that we can and must do better for our economy and country by modernizing our immigration system.” They also pressed for amnesty by writing about the need to respect “family unity.”

“Done properly, reform will deter illegal immigration, protect and complement our U.S. workforce, better respond to changing economic and demographic needs, and generate greater productivity and economic activity, while respecting family unity,” they wrote. “Failure to act is not an option. We cannot afford to be content and watch a dysfunctional immigration system work against our overall national interest.”

The day before, Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue pleaded for immigration reform and legislation that the Congressional Budget Office determined would lower the wages of American workers, as momentum has stalled on the legislation after the House’s immigration principles were slammed as “amnesty” by the likes of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).  

The Chamber of Commerce and high-tech interests–Facebook, for example–have vowed to spend millions this year to get amnesty, as leading Democrats have said that this year would be the last chance to enact significant immigration reform measures. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) said last week that immigration reform was still a possibility after House and Senate leaders said that President Barack Obama has to prove first that he can be trusted to enforce any new immigration laws. Amnesty opponents have stressed that immigration reform would negatively impact American workers by driving down their wages.


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