The National Restaurant Association pledged its continued support to work for a comprehensive immigration reform solution. The Association also welcomed the perspective of several key Senate Democratic leaders, shared in a 26-page policy outline, and urged for continued work on a bipartisan solution.

“As the news makes clearer every day, it is critical that Congress develop a comprehensive immigration reform solution,” says Scott DeFife, the Association’s executive vice president of Policy and Government Affairs. “Addressing our broken immigration system is important for many reasons, but it is an economic necessity for our industry. Our nation’s 945,000 restaurant locations and their millions of employees have much at stake in this effort, and the ramifications of failure to find a solution on this vital issue will be severe.”

The Association also commented on a 26-page outline released by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ).

“We believe that the outline represents a genuine attempt to continue this critical discussion. There are several significant areas that need continued work, and we remain committed to this important conversation with all stakeholders,” DeFife says.

For several months, the Association has worked with Sen. Schumer, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and other stakeholders on bipartisan draft legislation.

“We continue to believe that a process that has bipartisan participation gives proponents the best chance for a positive policy outcome,” DeFife says. “The Association pledges its continued vigorous support of comprehensive reform that strengthens our borders; provides a way for employers to hire from abroad when U.S. workers are not available; establishes a verification system that is effective, inexpensive and reliable, and does not unfairly penalize employers; and creates a reasonable solution for undocumented workers in the United States.”

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