Friday, July 12, 2013
Contact: Denise Davis
SACRAMENTO, CA — California Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Allan Zaremberg is calling for leadership by the California’s Congressional delegation on immigration reform in the latest edition of CalChamber News, a video series that focuses on critical issues for job creators. The latest installment, “Immigration Reform,” was released today.
According to Zaremberg and executives from nearly 40 local chambers of commerce around the state, immigration reform is critical to California’s economic certainty and prosperity. “This is so important to California’s economy. This is more important here than anywhere else. And that is exactly why California’s representatives need to dominate the debate in Washington. They can’t let somebody else, who doesn’t have a stake in this, determine the outcome.”
“What happens in California affects the rest of the country” Zaremberg says. Our economy is going to help drive the economic recovery in the rest of the United States.”
In California there are about 2.6 million undocumented immigrants — 23% of the nation’s total, half which have lived here for over 10 years.
Reform This Year
On June 27, California’s two U.S. senators—Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer—joined with more than two-thirds of the U.S Senate to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
“While I am heartened that the Senate has taken action, we must continue the fight to get immigration reform done this year,” Zaremberg said following the vote. “This is one of the most compelling challenges of our time. America—and particularly California—cannot compete and win in a global economy without attracting and retaining a talented workforce of big dreamers.”
News reports this week indicate the U.S. House is unlikely to take up the Senate legislation, S. 744, and will instead begin crafting its own immigration reform legislation.
“Unfortunately, it appears the U.S. House members from states that have no economic stake in the outcome of immigration reform are dominating the debate on this crucial issue,” Zaremberg said. “California’s House members need to protect California’s economy and be the dominant voice on immigration reform.”
The CalChamber and a growing coalition of 40 local chambers of commerce support the following comprehensive reform principles:
- Strong border security without jeopardizing trade with Mexico (California’s largest trading partner);
- A temporary worker program that meets the needs of employers for both high- and low-skilled jobs that cannot be filled by U.S. workers;
- Strict enforcement of employment verification;
- An earned pathway to legal status.
The California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber) is the largest broad-based business advocate to government in California. Membership represents one-quarter of the private sector jobs in California and includes firms of all sizes and companies from every industry within the state. Leveraging our front-line knowledge of laws and regulations, we provide products and services to help businesses comply with both federal and state law. CalChamber, a not-for-profit organization with roots dating to 1890, promotes international trade and investment in order to stimulate California's economy and create jobs. Please visit our website at www.calchamber.com.