More than 100 major companies have written a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in an effort to urge the quick passing of an immigration reform bill.
The human resource officials who co-signed the letter represent an array of companies asking for amnesty and citizenship for illegal aliens in an effort to import cheaper labor, despite those same companies laying off thousands of American workers.
The companies include General Electric, AT&T, The Walt Disney Co., Shell Oil Company, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels Corp., McDonald’s Corp., T-Mobile USA, The Wendy’s Co., Coca-Cola, The Cheesecake Factory, Johnson & Johnson, Verizon Communications, Hewlett-Packard, General Mills and more.
The letter states that immigration reform would be a “long overdue step toward aligning our nation’s immigration policies with its workforce needs at all skill levels to ensure U.S. global competitiveness.” It also asserts that many of their companies are having trouble finding American workers able to do certain lesser-skilled positions.
“Our global competitors understand that attracting top talent from around the world is vital to a country’s economic success,” reads the letter, “and many already have rewritten their immigration policies accordingly. We urge Congress not to miss this opportunity to level the playing field for U.S. employers. We can’t afford to wait.”
Many question the intent behind this letter, however, as the unemployment rate in the United States remains around 7.3 percent. Millions of American workers are getting laid off and looking for work, many of whom come from the companies who wrote the letter.
Some opponents, like the Center for Immigration Studies, expressed outrage at the fact that the companies who lay off thousands of American workers at a time would then attempt to push immigration reform in order to hire lesser-skilled workers for less money.
“It is difficult to understand how these companies can feel justified in demanding the importation of cheap labor with a straight face at a time when tens of millions of Americans are unemployed. The number of working-age (16 to 65) native-born Americans who are not working — unemployed or out of the labor market — stood at 57.5 million in the second quarter of 2013. The unemployed population is spread throughout the labor market and includes 25 million with no more than a high school education, 16 million with some education beyond high school, and nine million with at least a bachelor’s degree.”
Opponents to the efforts exerted by the major corporations claim they are simply trying to level the wages of American workers, while the corporations themselves maintain that they are actually trying to “level the playing field for U.S. employers.”