The president and CEO of Immigration Works USA, a national federation of small business owners, says the group supports the bipartisan immigration legislation that will be debated in the Senate next week.
Speaking to Newsmax TV, Tamar Jacoby, a nationally known journalist and author who has testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the bipartisan immigration bill, explained, "This is a pretty good compromise between Democrats and Republicans. It addresses a lot of issues, but it tries to deal with the illegal immigrants already here, tries to set up a system that will prevent illegal immigration from happening in the future, and think about American competitiveness."
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She continued, "What immigrants do we actually need to be a stronger economy and a more vibrant country going forward? That's a pretty tall order and it tries to hit on most of those things and gets most of the answers pretty close to right."
Asked whether the Senate bill, which supposedly contains provisions that guarantee stricter border control, does enough to enforce border security, Jacoby said, "People are worried that we're just going to get the citizenship and then we're not going to really do the enforcement," adding, "And there are some people who think that trigger mechanism could be a little more effective. There are a lot of Republicans who are not quite happy with the trigger yet and it's probably going to go a little further to the right and that isn't necessarily bad."
Jacoby also said she believes the pathway to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country will benefit the economy, noting that it takes into account "the PhDs, scientists, and the people who are going to invent the next medical breakthrough, and also the farmworkers and the restaurant workers who fill in when there aren't enough Americans and allow women to go to work and be more productive."
As for the mandatory E-verify bill in the House that would require employers to confirm the legal immigration status of potential employees, Jacoby said it would not become an administrative burden for them.
"Business are increasingly saying ' I'll do that. If I can know from the government whether or not the guy I'm about to hire is actually legal or not, that will take a lot of the guesswork and the responsibility off of me . . . That's actually the best of both worlds,'" she explained.
Jacoby said that a survey her group conducted with members of the National Restaurant Association that use E-Verify found that 80 percent responded that they would recommend it to a colleague.
Yet Jacoby acknowledged that given the difference in opinions on amnesty in the House and the Senate, passing legislation is going to be hard, saying, "Speaker Boehner's definitely right. The House is not going to touch the Senate bill and if the president's pushing for them to touch the Senate bill, it's not going to happen."
She continued, " I'm worried about people on both sides who are going to say I can play politics on this; Republicans who say I'll get a lot more right wing Republican votes if I don't for it and Democrats who say why should I give this up and share credit with Republicans for passing the bill? So there are dangers on both sides of politicization but there's a lot of momentum for it. So I'm hopeful that it might really happen."
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