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Business and labor leaders join to support immigration overhaul

There are many people and groups who are eagerly waiting for President Obama and Congress to make major changes to the current laws regarding immigrants illegally living in the United States. As momentum continues to build, Floridians are seeing local politicians, religious leaders and others pushing for an immigration law overhaul.

While everyone seems to agree that the current set of laws regarding alien residents are not effective, many politicians seem unsure of how exactly to go about and effect change. While the current policies circle around deporting over 11 million illegal immigrants or granting them a way to become citizens of the United States, some lawmakers wonder if there could be another option.

Many plans, however, seem to focus in on providing a way for immigrants to obtain legal status and eventually citizenship. Recently, top leaders from the labor and business sectors met with the president to discuss how to accomplish just that. However, there is some concern that differences of opinion could fracture that union over the issue of guest worker programs for future immigrants who want to come to the U.S.

The economic situation is certainly not helping to assure both sides, as some claim that allowing more immigrants in will prevent American citizens from finding employment. Apparently it was concern over this topic that led to the breakdown in 2007 when U.S. immigration law reform was being considered.

What should be remembered is that there are millions of immigrants who have built lives here, raised families and contributed greatly to economic growth within their communities. It would therefore be wise for Congress and sector leaders to deal with this issue first and then address future work visa recipients.

Source: The Miami Herald, "Strange bedfellows: Business, labor on immigration," Erica Werner and Julie Pace, Feb. 2, 2013

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