Business Groups Increase Pressure for Immigration Reform

Wednesday, 09 Jul 2014 04:33 PM

By Jennifer G. Hickey

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As political leaders in Texas and Arizona struggle to stem the flood of illegal immigrants across the border, members of Florida's business and agricultural industries are increasing pressure on Congress and the Obama administration to pass immigration reform.

On Wednesday, the groups planned a series of events across Florida as part of a national effort to pass reform led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Partnership for a New American Economy, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Association of Manufacturers, and Western Growers.

The National Day of Action for Immigration Reform included events in more than 60 key districts across 25 states, as well as the release of new nationwide polling results that show support for immigration reform.

According to the coalition, at least 84 percent of voters in every region surveyed support "fixing" the immigration system, and 80 percent of voters surveyed responded "that they want Congress to act on immigration reform this year."

It is unlikely that Congress will pass any comprehensive immigration reform legislation this year, however, particularly as legislators must first grapple with the Obama administration's "emergency" $3.7 billion funding request.

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson told J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV on Wednesday that he "can't see how I can support this thing" because the numbers do not add up.

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called for quick passage of the emergency bill, but he is also meeting resistance from Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who said it was important to avoid "just throwing money at a short-term problem."

Rubio, a potential 2016 presidential candidate who played a critical role in negotiating an immigration reform measure that passed the Senate in 2013, conceded in January that any reform bill is unlikely to receive congressional approval until Obama is out of office.

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