In response to President Obama’s address at American University on the urgent need to fix the nation’s broken immigration system through comprehensive immigration reform, the National Restaurant Association issued the following statement:
“Each day the need for immigration reform becomes clearer, and we commend the President for his commitment and continued leadership,” said National Restaurant Association president and CEO Dawn Sweeney. “It is absolutely critical for our nation that Congress develop a sensible immigration reform solution.
“Addressing our broken immigration system is an economic necessity for our industry as well as our country,” said Sweeney, who attended the President’s remarks. “The nation’s 945,000 restaurant locations and their millions of employees have much at stake in this debate, and the consequences of failure to find a solution on this vital issue will be severe. The President has been a leading voice working to find a resolution to this crisis, and while significant areas of disagreement exist among advocates, we remain committed to the work ahead.
“We believe that a bipartisan process has the best chance of success, and it is imperative that the Congress continues to work toward a solution,” Sweeney said. “The Association pledges its continued vigorous support of sensible 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 commonsense solution for undocumented workers in the United States.”
The restaurant and foodservice industry is the second largest private sector employer in the U.S. with 12.7 million employees, and the Association estimates the number of jobs in the industry will grow by 1.3 million over the next 10 years. The Association is an active leader in the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition, which includes more than 40 national businesses and trade associations seeking reform of America’s broken immigration system.