We the undersigned employers from Washington State, thank you, Mr. President, for your leadership on comprehensive immigration reform. We as a vibrant community of diverse industries and businesses can’t hope to pass reform without your forceful advocacy, and we welcome your commitment to repairing the broken system.
But we hope in the future you will not forget the fix we believe must be at the heart of any overhaul. For a reform bill to work – for Washington State employers or for the U.S. economy – it must provide a way for the workers we’ll need to grow the economy in the future to enter the country legally.
Even in a recession, many of us still need foreign workers to keep our businesses open and keep Americans employed. As the economy picks up, we’ll want to expand our operations. And labor shortages at the top or bottom of the economy could choke the recovery.
What we need: additional worker visas not just for agriculture and high-tech, but also for an array of other industries that rely on less skilled workers.
As employers, we support comprehensive reform that secures the borders, reinforces the rule of law in the workplace, protects U.S. workers and addresses the millions of unauthorized immigrants already living and working in the United States. We believe American businesses should make every effort to hire qualified American workers first. And we support tough sanctions against employers who deliberately flout our immigration laws.
But the best – ultimately the only – way to control illegal immigration is to create a legal immigration system that works. We look forward to working with you to create a visa system that meets the needs of U.S. employers and the U.S. economy.
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