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National Restaurant Association - Immigration reform focus shifts to House

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Immigration reform focus shifts to House

Now that the Senate has approved an immigration reform bill, the focus moves to the House of Representatives and how it will approach legislation. A bipartisan “Gang of Seven” representatives is negotiating how to proceed.

The House has considered parts of immigration reform, most notably the Legal Workforce Act. That bill calls for national implementation of the E-Verify employment verification system. It’s not known whether the House will continue its piecemeal approach or, like the Senate, consider immigration reform as a package. At a recent forum on immigration reform co-sponsored by the National Restaurant Association and Bloomberg Government, two key House members said the House likely would develop its own legislation rather than take up the bill passed by the Senate.

Regardless of which approach the House takes, the National Restaurant Association’s priorities have not changed, said Ryan Kearney, NRA manager, labor and workforce policy. “We remain committed to legislation that will provide the 11 million undocumented individuals already in the workforce with a clear path to legalization, national implementation of the E-Verify system and improved border security that does not impede legal travel and tourism,” Kearney said.

The NRA is engaged with the House Judiciary Committee and other key House members to ensure legislation that makes it to the House floor is favorable to the restaurant industry's needs. Grassroots advocacy will be important to the success of any legislation, Kearney said.

“We are continuing our advocacy efforts at the grassroots level,” he said. “During the Senate debate, hundreds of restaurant owners wrote and called their senators to share stories about how immigration policy affects the industry. We’re looking for similar engagement during the House debate.”

Visit the NRA’s advocacy website, www.AmericaWorksHere.org/Immigration for the latest news, tools and information about comprehensive immigration reform.

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