It’s the Workforce, Stupid. Why Texas Business Is Gearing Up to Fight for Immigrants

It’s the workforce, stupid.That’s one way to sum up the rationale behind a new push by Texas businesses to rally support for immigrants and immigration reform. At a time of low unemployment and strong demand for workers, the group wants to stop scaring off potential newcomers to Texas. Some are even pushing for a way to let unauthorized immigrants work here legally.In late February, over 50 companies and chambers of commerce formed the Texans for Economic Growth Coalition to take their message to lawmakers in Austin and Washington.“We are committed to promoting common-sense immigration reforms that strengthen our economy and attract talent and business to our state,” the group wrote in its compact.One goal is to head off bills that would punish immigrants and hurt the economy. There are proposals in the Texas House and Senate to end in-state tuition for high school graduates who don't have legal status. If enacted, Texas could lose $400 million in annual economic activity, one study found.Another goal is to make a persuasive case on the economic value of immigration. The group wants the Texas delegation to push for more immigrants, not fewer.“The reality is that everyone is starving for workers,” said Eddie Aldrete, senior vice president at IBC Bank in San Antonio. “You either import enough human capital or create it. Right now, we’re not doing either.”  Continue reading...

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