New American Economy coalition calls for immigration reform

New American Economy coalition calls for immigration reform

Members say lack of immigration reform is dragging down economy, leaving food to rot in the field.

A coalition of elected officials and business and community leaders from across the United States launched the “Reason for Reform” campaign Wednesday.

The New American Economy coalition released 51 new economic reports – one for every state plus Washington, D.C. – to show how immigration impacts communities across the nation and the need to reform the immigration system.

Here are what some of the member organizations are saying:

The New American Economy coalition released 51 new economic reports to show how immigration impacts communities across the nation and the need to reform the immigration system. (Photo: PattieS/Thinkstock)

“Our current immigration system isn’t designed to allow anyone looking to create the next billion-dollar startup the ability to easily do so in America,” said Venture Capitalist Brad Feld.  “We’re losing this talent to our global competition, which is why I am supporting NAE’s Reason for Reform campaign.”

“Every time immigration becomes a political ping-pong ball, what gets lost are the real, human stories about immigrants making contributions to America every day,” said John Feinblatt, Chairman of the Partnership for a New American Economy. “Together, those stories and the data make a compelling case: not only do Americans want immigration reform, our economy needs it.”

“We have always been a nation of immigrants, a country built by people coming to work hard and build a better life,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. “Today, America’s farmers face a real crisis because that tradition is in danger. We need a reliable workforce to tend our crops and harvest them on time, but we can’t find enough workers to meet the nation’s needs. Worker shortages have placed our nation’s food supply at risk. Increasing  immigration enforcement will cost the country $60 billion in agricultural production unless we do something now about increasing the supply of guest workers. We cannot let this nation’s harvest rot in the fields.”

 “We need immigration reform so employers can hire immigrants easily, safely and legally, keeping their companies growing and contributing to the economy,” said Tamar Jacoby, Co-Chair of the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition and President of ImmigrationWorks USA.

“Farming is difficult and challenging as it is,” said Robert Guenther, Senior Vice President for Public Policy at United Fresh Produce Association. “Even without the constant struggle to maintain a qualified workforce, producers face many obstacles to getting an abundant supply of nutritious fruits and vegetables to consumers.  To meet the nutritional needs of the American people, immigration reform is essential and we’ll continue to fight for it.  The data in these reports really helps to illustrate how much reform is needed.”

“Regardless of the rhetoric this political season, a working immigration system is foundational to the economic health of American farmers, rural communities and the broader U.S. economy. As these new state reports demonstrate, our local, state and national leaders must move beyond political posturing and work to make immigration reform a reality in 2017,” said Tom Nassif, president and CEO of Western Growers. “As part of any common sense plan, provisions granting legal status to existing farm workers and creating a new, more workable and market-oriented visa program to ensure a future flow of labor for American agriculture should be included.”

The New American Economy also launched a new digital tool that lets users make a video telling their own Reason for Reform and send it directly to Congress. Participants can share their stories on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #ReasonForReform.

Source: New American Economy

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