HEADLINES: Immigration

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button_icon_immigration_headlinesBusiness leaders are the latest interest group to throw their weight behind immigration reform, and “they pledged last Thursday to put serious money behind that effort.”   While there is lingering disagreement over the nature and timeline of immigration reform, the US Chamber of Commerce has  firmly endorsed comprehensive immigration reform.  Business leaders have been meeting regularly with labor and faith organizations to build a coalition for reform. [ABC/Univision]

In a new poll conducted by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, fifty-two percent of Americans would support an immigration plan that includes a legal status for undocumented immigrants, while only 46 percent oppose it.  This represents a significant change from five years ago, when a clear majority opposed such a measure.  A similar poll conducted by a group of pro-immigrant organizations found that 63 percent favored a roadmap to citizenship.  [ABC/Unvision]

This week, David Axelrod, senior adviser to President Obama, announced that the president will move on immigration reform early, “possibly as soon as the State of the Union speech in three weeks.”  While some have questioned whether immigration reform will be overshadowed by the fiscal and gun control debates, Axelrod disagreed, and thinks that all three are possible, saying that “we’ve got a foundation on which to build (CIR), and he has a chance to build on it.”  [LA Times]

As the immigration reform debate continues to gear up, the debate around the country’s guest worker program has grown louder.  More than 100,000 foreign workers come to the U.S annually, many working in demanding positions such as agricultural field work and hotel housekeeping, and allegations of abuse are common.  Ana Avendano, the director of immigration at the AFL-CIO union federation, said, “It’s a small piece of the whole puzzle but an important one.  The system is terribly exploitative. We’re dealing with human beings, not commodities.”  Advocates are moving to have guest worker reform included in any comprehensive immigration reform package.  [Huffington Post]

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