President Obama and NAM have had their share of disagreements but when it comes to immigration reform, they agree now is the time to, in the president's words, "get the job done."
With the bruising government funding fight behind him, Obama today renewed his push for comprehensive legislation to fix what he called the U.S.'s "broken immigration system." He said he wants Congress to act on immigration before the end of 2013.
In supporting immigration reform, NAM tweeted, "We need access to workers with the skills that will allow American manufacturers to grow & succeed." NAM noted that 82% of manufacturers reported "a moderate to serious shortage in skilled production labor."
A coalition of conservative faith, law enforcement and business leaders will be descending on Washington, D.C. on October 29 to reinforce the push for immigration reform. More than 400 leaders from 50 congressional districts will be lobbying Congress, the group stated, to "take up broad immigration reform and keep it moving forward. The groups represented range from Americans for Tax Reform to the American Bankers Association to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The U.S. Senate passed an immigration bill, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, in late June, but House leaders have indicated they want to take up immigration on a piecemeal basis. Attention will now turn to Speaker John Boehner as he determines whether action on immigration is feasible in the House and could serve to help repair damage to the Republican party's image.
In July, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the Senate legislation would increase the number of people residing in the U.S. by 9.6 million. While it would lead to $23 billion in additional net spending for federal benefits and other programs, CBO said the larger labor force would also increase revenues and result in a decrease in the budget deficits by $158 billion over the 2014 to 2023 period.