Survey: Small Businesses Want Immigration Reform

Thursday, 16 May 2013 03:41 PM

By Courtney Coren

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A new survey finds that more than three-quarters of small business owners support comprehensive immigration reform and want an effective E-Verify system.

The National Association for the Self-Employed found that 77 percent of its 432 members say immigration reform is important to them and their businesses. Almost 60 percent think that anyone who has either full or part-time employees should have to comply with an employment-verification system.

"We must work towards a fair, balanced, and sensible approach to modernizing our immigration system," said Katie Vlietstra, NASE director of governmental affairs.

"This must include simple and effective verification systems for small-business owners to comply by verifying the legality of any potential employee to work in this country," she added. "Small businesses are willing to comply, but must have an efficient and effective process of doing so."

However, small-business owners want an E-Verify system that is easy to use, and 79 percent of those surveyed said they would not pay to outsource employment verification on the immigration status of all new hires, if it becomes mandatory.

"We want to comply with any new immigration requirements as long as they are not burdensome and impact our businesses and bottom-lines," said Stephen McNeilly, owner of ServiceProz Inc. and member of the NASE Member Council.

"The E-Verify system we currently already use takes too long to verify employment," he said. "We need a system that is efficient, easy to use and isn't complex."

The survey was conducted Feb. 25 through March 18 of NASE members, which includes the self-employed and owners of micro-businesses — those with 10 or fewer employees.


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