Restaurant industry urges swift action on immigration reform

Restaurant industry urges swift action on immigration reform

National Restaurant Association President and CEO Dawn Sweeney May 21 called on Congress to move quickly to pass immigration reform.

In an op-ed published in the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Sweeney said current immigration talks show real promise for reform. “If any group of lawmakers can lead an effort to fix America’s immigration system, it’s this one. Let’s hope they’re successful.”

“The flaws of today’s system are creating a massive drag on the economy,” Sweeney said.

She cited the restaurant industry’s top three priorities for immigration reform: create a path to legalization for the roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the United States, create a single national employment verification system that overrides state and local laws, and take steps to tighten U.S. borders but encourage more foreigners to travel here.

“Undocumented men and women that have otherwise broken no laws and are now contributing to the economy should be given a chance to come out of the shadows,” she said.

The restaurant industry, said Sweeney, “gives individuals of all backgrounds the chance to achieve the American dream.” But the current immigration system forces employers to “grapple with a hodgepodge of often conflicting rules that leave them uncertain of their legal obligations and expose them to liability.”

“Immigration touches the life of every American … From software to biotech, retail to restaurants, whole industries depend on the ability to fill jobs with recent arrivals to U.S. shores. The economy depends on sensible and meaningful reform. Immigration policy has been neglected for too long. The time for action is now.”

(Source: National Restaurant Association)

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