Joint Statement Released by Business and Advocacy Immigration Coalition

A group of Minnesota companies and organizations have collaborated to release a joint statement about immigration reform. The members of the Minnesota Business Immigration Coalition have all co-signed this statement:

The growth rate of Minnesota’s workforce is declining. Even during challenging economic times there are a wide range of jobs that are left unfilled and employers frequently rely on the immigrant workforce to fill these positions. When these jobs are left unfilled, the economy as a whole does not function properly. Immigrants help to relieve the worker shortage for many companies. Thus, we need immigrant workers with a wide variety of skill sets.

The federal government has failed to pass comprehensive reform which is necessary to address current and future immigration issues. As a result, state and local governments are getting involved with immigration legislation. Most of their proposals put more of the burden on employers to check immigration status and, in effect, enforce federal law. If states continue on this path, a system that is already cumbersome and at times unfair would not only become more confusing and expensive to manage, but also unpredictable, even inhumane, for workers and employers alike. For example, a recent Minnesota executive order has created barriers for businesses in need of employees and workers in need of employment. State laws that attempt to take on federal responsibilities also often face expensive court challenges.

Guiding Principles for Reform:

Goal: We support comprehensive federal reform that recognizes the needs of our economy; protects national security; and is humane. Successful reform will modify immigration policies without creating more obstacles for workers to connect with employers and vice versa. Thus, the following must occur simultaneously:

  • Reform should include a timely and affordable way for current immigrants and their families, regardless of status, to become documented legal participants in our society. Successful businesses require stable families and communities. We support a path to permanent residency for all immigrants residing in the U.S. who are not otherwise excludable for reasons such as criminal convictions. We also support a timely reduction of backlogs where families and professional workers have been waiting to emigrate for many years.
  • Reform should include a simple and accurate status verification that is affordable and accessible, especially so for small businesses. Reforms should protect workers and employers who act in good faith regarding the law.
  • Reform should include a simple and timely approach to the future flow of immigrants, including permanent and temporary status. New rules should allow sufficient immigration to meet the needs of all industries (including agriculture) as well as large and small businesses alike and afford workers all protections under current laws.

Cosigned:

Minnesota Agri-Growth Council
Minnesota Chamber of Commerce
Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association
The Minnesota Resort & Campground Association
Service Employees International Union
Minnesota Milk Producers Association
Midwest Food Processors Association
Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota
Family & Children’s Service
Jewish Community Action
Minnesota Restaurant Association
Minnesota Lodging Association
Minnesota Council of Churches
American Immigration Lawyer's Association Minnesota -Dakotas Chapter (AILA-MN/DAK)
Isaiah
UFCW Local 1189
League of Women Voters
Islamic Center of Minnesota
UNITE HERE Local 17