Industry leaders in agribusiness, construction, development and technology all support comprehensive immigration reform. They say truly comprehensive reform, particularly in the area of workers' provisions, promises to boost our economy overall. One surprising statistic is that for every 100 immigrants who earn degrees in the U.S., and go on to work in the country in technical fields, another 262 jobs are created for American-born workers, according to a recent study by the American Enterprise Institute and the Partnership for a New American Economy. Thus, business leaders large and small are understandably some of the strongest proponents of immigration reform.
An opinion piece recently ran in The Tennessean newspaper, in which industry leader Peter Davis stressed the importance of immigration reform. He emphasized that comprehensive immigration reform will create more American jobs overall, and in a range of varied industries. It will also help America keep talented science and technology workers trained in America here, which in turn will create more jobs in many sectors of the economy. However, Davis, the CEO of Universal Robotics, cautions that Congress must act quickly in passing comprehensive immigration reform, including a progressive immigrant worker system, in order to prevent foreign countries from recruiting talented scientists and skilled workers who have been trained here in the U.S. Support for comprehensive immigration reform is similarly strong in the agribusiness and construction realms.
Still, Congress should heed the concerns of human rights organizations in addressing poor working conditions in those realms. The need for cheap labor can lead to worker exploitation in many cases. The “Gang of Eight” should consider implementing protections for workers in these growing industries.