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Secretaries Locke and Solis Say Comprehensive Immigration Reform Will Strengthen the Economy

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Fixing Immigration System an Important Step Forward in Lifting Up American Workers, Law-Abiding Employers

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said today that comprehensive immigration reform will strengthen the U.S. economy. At an event sponsored by the Center for American Progress, Solis and Locke said that the broken immigration system favors unscrupulous employers at the expense of workers by allowing undocumented immigrants to be underpaid and exploited, lowering wages for all workers and forcing honest employers to compete on an uneven playing field.

Solis and Locke believe comprehensive immigration reform is a practical solution to this problem that will raise the bar for all workers, hold all employers to the same standards in the workplace and add billions of new tax dollars to the nation’s coffers.

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice: “As Secretaries Solis and Locke made clear today, we can’t build for long-term economic growth atop the crumbling foundation of a broken immigration system.  We need to get more workers and employers into the tax system, and level the playing field in the workplace, by passing comprehensive immigration reform.

“Opponents of comprehensive immigration reform are essentially arguing for the status quo: a failed system that harms workers and honest employers, and leaves billions of tax dollars uncollected,” Sharry said. “Comprehensive immigration reform would re-establish the rule of law, and create a fairer system where all workers and employers have the same rights and responsibilities.  It is a win for workers, a win for honest employers, and a win for American taxpayers.”

For more on the economic impact of comprehensive immigration reform, see reports from the Center for American Progress and Immigration Policy Center.   

Last week, America’s Voice Education Fund issued a new report exposing the truth about key members of Congress’ voting records on U.S. worker issues.  The report, along with a transcript and recording of our telephonic press conference, is also available here.  

America’s Voice — Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform.