Republicans, who have long held the interests of small businesses at heart, may have just found a compelling reason to support reform.
A Texas Republican, Ted Poe, has long since agreed that immigration reform is necessary, but had always assumed that supporting it would be political suicide. As more small businesses speak out, though, in favor of reform, it’s becoming clearer to him that taking action will not be detrimental to his political career.
“Just doing nothing is a vote for the status quo, which is broken,” said Poe.
He recently met with business leaders, several of which told him that they can’t find enough Americans to man their kitchens and repair things — the un-glamorous work that is also necessary to keep society going. The recommended a more extensive immigration program that would bring over those who would be willing to do these necessary jobs.
Business groups have organized a mass of lobbyists to push the immigration bill through the Senate this last June. The bill includes new visa programs for foreign works and allots billions of dollars for more security on the nation’s borders. It also would implement a 10-year path to citizenship for undocumented workers here now.
The House, though, is much more conservative. And though some of these conservatives see the necessity of immigration reform, supporting it could mean not being reelected back to their position again.
As businesses become more vocal, though, representatives are starting to see that immigration reform isn’t as unpopular with their conservative base as they might have thought.
More on Immigration Reform:
- Immigration Reform 2013
- Gang of 8
- Earned Citizenship
- Streamlining Immigration
- Strengthening Border Security
- More Accountability for Employers Hiring Undocumented Immigrants