Local Chambers Have Voice In Immigration Debate

Business for Skilled Worker Immigration, a consortium of approximately 40 chambers across the country, has joined in on the debate on immigration reform in effort to gather the opinion of community members and business owners on a national level. The group was started by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, according to the Chicago Tribune.

One of the groups joining the consortium is the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce, based in the western suburb of Chicago. Cholly Smith, Great Lakes regional manager for the U.S. Chamber, recently visited Naperville to inform the chamber members on recently debated topics in immigration reform and to ensure they are able to voice their opinions. The coalition is pooling information from all of its members to have a cohesive standpoint on the hot-button subject.

In Naperville, business owners voiced their concern on the lack of skilled workers and the difficulty and time period of getting work visas. Mike Evans, president and CEO of the local organization, said the reform needs to address long-term employment and give employers easier access to skilled workers. Smith said the U.S. Chamber shares similar concerns, in addition to securing borders and creating a national standard for employee verification.

The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce is another member of the group, which hopes to ask Congress to address immigration reform to foster economic development.

“Some of the world’s best and brightest come to the Greater Madison region to advance themselves at our globally recognized universities,” Zach Brandon, chamber president, said in a statement to the Wisconsin State Journal. “As these foreign nationals complete their education and look to create new opportunities, we send them home to work for companies which compete with Wisconsin businesses. It makes no sense.”