Immigration Debate Rages On
Building service contractors are anxious for immigration reform. They all agree that something needs to be done — and quick.
In his State of the Union address, President Bush reiterated his support for a temporary worker program — a solution that lets immigrants enter the United States legally. Meanwhile, according to news reports, a new immigration reform bill is being drafted in the U.S. Senate that would allow 10 million illegal immigrants to apply for citizenship. This would give at least 3 million more immigrants a chance at citizenship than what was authorized by a similar bill passed by the Senate last year.
Whether that bill passes or not, one step has already been made in the path to immigration reform in 2007. The Senate just approved an amendment to the current minimum wage bill that would ban contractors from government contracts for 7 to 10 years if caught hiring illegal workers.
While the country waits for an answer from lawmakers, some industries are coming up with their own solutions. The February 2007 issue of Fortune Small Business featured an article on Global Horizons, an agriculture-labor contractor that is taking both a former client and a competitor to court. Global Horizons claims its client switched suppliers because the competitor offered cheaper labor, which was only affordable because they were allegedly employing illegal immigrants. The case will be decided this spring.
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