Houston, Texas — This week several conservative and business leaders in Texas called on the Texas delegation to work toward passing meaningful immigration reform in Congress as soon as possible. Participating in Wednesday’s event were Norman Adams, Texans for Sensible Immigration Policy, Pat Kiley, CEO of Kiley Advisors and former Director of Associated General Contractors, Charles Foster of Foster law firm and Greater Houston Partnership, Darlene East, President of Holes Inc., Kevin Carroll, Gringos Mexican Kitchen franchisee, and Alan Nash attorney retired from Mitchell Energy (Republican Delegate).
"We need Congressional legislation to fix our broken immigration system. An executive order will likely address less than 20% of undocumented immigrants. We need a modern immigration system that drives our economy rather than ignores it.” said Norman Adams, Texans for Sensible Immigration Policy.
“The reason we need comprehensive immigration reform is because we have so many needs for workers in every aspect of construction," said former Director of Associated General Contractors, Pat Kiley. "It has been my privilege to watch this Houston market place for over thirty years, and I have never seen the confluence of what we have now. In the four major sectors of construction - residential, heavy industrial, highway and civil, and commercial - every one of those sectors and every segment within them has unprecedented volume. All of these segments are on fire, and right now contractors need additional labor.” Kiley went on to cite the projections from a conference he was at yesterday, that said in oil field related construction, we are 65% short of what we will need by the end of 2016.
"We have new Republican leadership in the Senate," said Charles Foster, who runs the Immigration Task Force for the Greater Houston Partnership. "Hopefully they will be able to pass a bill and send it over to the House. I have met with Speaker Boehner, and I know he is eager to pass some form of comprehensive immigration reform that will be acceptable to his Caucus."
"The reality is that we have an estimated 11 million undocumented individuals in the United States," Foster continued. "Not even the most conservative members of Congress are saying that we need to remove all these individuals. Congress should deal with the status of these individuals so that we know who is here in the country."
“Immigration reform is good for the American people because my employees pay taxes, social security, and my company pays workers’ compensation,” said Darlene East, President and COO of Holes, Inc. “There are many people out there who have run to the underground economy and are not paying that. For fairness, everyone should be paying their fair share of employment taxes. We need to know who they are and get them on the books and have them pay the same taxes that my employees have to pay.”
"I would like to see some action on immigration reform because I would like to expand and create new jobs with other locations, but I find it increasingly difficult to be competitive," said Kevin Carroll who owns a Gringo's Mexican Kitchen franchise.
Next, Attorney Alan Nash gave his definition of amnesty: "Amnesty is the status quo. Amnesty is allowing illegals to stay here, unidentified, uncounted, undocumented, and untaxed. Amnesty is shouting for self-deportation, which is a fantasy, and which will never happen. Amnesty is denouncing those who have real solutions. Those who want to eliminate the job magnet that creates this flood of illegals. Amnesty is shouting but doing absolutely nothing to realistically solve the problems. Those who suppose themselves to be opposing amnesty are, in fact, perpetuating it."
The Washington Times has also released a special section called, “Immigration: Conservative and Economic Solutions to Act Now” featuring a wide range of ideas from conservative and business leaders all united in calling on the new Congress to reform our immigration system.
The special section in The Washington Times included OpEds, letters, and opinion statements from:
- The Washington Times Editorial Board
- Senator Rand Paul, Kentucky
- Governor Susana Martinez, New Mexico
- Grover Norquist, Founder and President of Americans for Tax Reform
- Dr. Ben Carson, Political Commentator
- Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Congressman from the 3rd District of Utah
- Tom Donohue, President & CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- John Engler, President, the Business Roundtable
- Jay Timmons, President & CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers
- Dan Garza, Executive Director, The LIBRE Initiative
- Bob Stallman, President of the American Farm Bureau Federation, Tom Nassif, President of Western Growers, and the CEOs of the Agriculture Workforce Coalition
- Alex Nowrasteh, CATO Institute
- More than 100 top GOP donors
“Immigration: Conservative and Economic Solutions to Act Now” will be released in conjunction with a national event in Washington DC hosted by Grover Norquist, President & CEO of Americans for Tax Reform, and 20 local events in 20 states across the country, featuring conservative leaders making the case for Congress to take action now. The national event will feature John Solomon, Editor of the Washington Times, Dan Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative, and Chuck Conner, President, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives.