[Sept. 9, 2013] FRESNO, Calif. – As Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) returned to the nation’s Capitol today following the summer recess, a coalition of local business, labor, and community groups demanded he push House leaders to put immigration reform with a path to citizenship at the top of their agenda this session. A news conference at a Fresno restaurant was one of nine held across California, where a broad coalition of allies called on House members to “Get back to work” on a comprehensive immigration reform bill that is critical to the nation’s economy.
“Small businesses are sick and tired of being held accountable for immigration laws that don’t work and a system that is broken,” said Ricardo Flores, owner of Los Amigos Mexican Restaurant in Fresno. “As Congress gets back to work, they have to provide a path to citizenship that gives families stability and lets businesses draw on the talent they need to grow.”
At Monday’s event, the coalition released new data that shows immigration reform with a path to citizenship would provide a huge boost to Fresno County’s economy. If such an immigration law takes effect, it is estimated that by 2020 it would result in an additional $170 million being injected into the local economy, create more than 2,000 jobs, and increase personal income by more than $300 million.
The Senate has passed legislation that would help the local economy flourish by drawing on the skills, talents, and economic input of every Californian. But House Republican leaders have so far ignored the strong majority of Americans who support a comprehensive approach – including both Republicans and Democrats – by refusing to bring a reform bill forward for a vote.
Locally, a handful of businesses signed a letter to Congress supporting immigration reform with a path to citizenship, noting that the current system fails to provide stability for families and businesses alike, and many are displaying a poster to make their support for immigration reform with a path to citizenship visible.
The Fresno coalition supporting immigration reform legislation includes Fresno Immigration Reform Coalition, United Farm Workers Foundation, Organizing for Action, SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, SEIU Local 521 Latino Caucus, SEIU Local 1000, May 1st Coalition, Fresno Immigrant Youth in Action, Faith in Community, Mi Familia Vota, El Concilio, and the Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministry.
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