FEWA Praises Senate for Stance on Immigration Reform

FEWA Praises Senate for Stance on Immigration Reform

The Federation of Employers and Workers of America (FEWA) applauds the U.S. Senate for passing the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 (S. 2611). With a margin of 62 to 36, the body took what FEWA believes to be a positive step to strengthen both our national and economic security.

The bipartisan legislation that is strongly supported by FEWA provides what the organization believes is an extensive blueprint for ensuring that: 1) our national borders are safe and secure; 2) the creation of a functional employment eligibility and verification system; 3) employers have access to qualified, security-screened foreign labor when U.S. workers are unavailable; and 4) deserving undocumented workers have a pathway to legally remain in this country and contribute to its economic well-being.

“From an employment perspective, the bill is sound public policy,” said John Meredith, FEWA’s vice president of government relations. “It ensures employers who cannot find enough domestic workers to fill the jobs created by our growing economy will have access to foreign labor whether the job is seasonal, agricultural, or year-round. This will be increasingly important as the baby-boomer population leaves the workforce.”

Worker protections written into the legislation ensure American workers will always have first right of refusal for any job marketed to a guest worker. In addition, the hiring of these guest workers will not have a negative impact on the wages of Americans working in the job categories that are ultimately filled by guest workers.

FEWA, through leadership and participation in numerous immigration focused coalitions, looks forward to working with Senate and House members as well as the Administration during what will likely be a contentious conference committee tasked with reconciling the differences between the comprehensive bill passed by the Senate and the enforcement only provisions previously passed by the House.

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