Accompanied by the George W. Bush Institute’s Executive Director Jim Glassman and Researcher Matthew Denhart, USHCC President & CEO Javier Palomarez made a strong, economic case for America’s immigrants during ABC News’ “Power Players” interview, conducted by ABC’s Senior National Correspondent, Jim Avila.
“Corporations like AT&T, Bank of America, eBay, Google, Intel, Kohl’s Department stores and Yahoo!, and I could go on – they were all started by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant,” said Mr. Palomarez. “40% of the fortune 500 corporations were started by an immigrant. And so the record’s clear – immigrants are here to help.”
Last month, The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and The George W. Bush Institute partnered to release “Growth and Immigration: A Handbook of Vital Immigration and Economic Growth Statistics.” This study comes at a time of great optimism, but also great concern, as the Senate’s overwhelming 68-32 vote in support of reforming our country’s broken immigration system now faces strong headwinds in the House.
Although the biggest obstacles to passing comprehensive immigration reform often emanate from conservative circles, Bush Institute’s Jim Glassman reminds us of the strong pedigree of Republicans who have supported fixing our nation’s broken system for decades.
“President Bush himself, Jeb Bush, President Bush’s father, George H. W. Bush … they’ve been dedicated to having a sensible immigration policy for decades now,” Glassman recounts. “And as far as conservatives in general, you know, most conservatives want growth.”
Even after grappling with our nation’s immigration problem for over a decade, President Bush is still devoting his time and energy to an issue that generates as much heat as it does light – with fruits to bear. More than ever before, bipartisan voices find themselves on pitch with Mr. Glassman’s research-based assertion, “The engine for growth for the U.S. has been immigrants.”
Bush Institute Researcher Matthew Denhart asserts, “You have to imagine someone who is going to leave their home country, travel across oceans or across borders and take risks,” he said. “When they land in that new country, you can expect they’re going to do something pretty remarkable, and the numbers bear that out.”
In addition to pioneering America’s most popular brands, Palomarez admonishes not to forget how dependent America is on its immigrant workers, “The reality of it is the nation needs it. The agricultural bounty that we enjoy in the United States and the amazingly low prices that we pay when compared to other nations is due, in part, to the fact that we have some of the best skilled laborers working in the very fields that, frankly, are often-time immigrants.”
In an interview conducted during a recent visit to Africa, President Bush was asked if the bill would pass in the House, to which he optimistically responded, saying that the immigration bill “has a chance to pass.” He then added, “The reason to pass immigration reform is not to bolster a Republican Party; it’s to fix a system that’s broken. Good policy yields good politics, as far as I’m concerned.”
Reducing our deficit, spurring innovation, creating jobs, and securing our borders; these benefits present a cumulative case for comprehensive immigration reform that have many in corporate America, and a majority across the political spectrum, urging lawmakers to take bold action in the coming weeks. The USHCC applauds President Bush for continuing to give voice to an issue that impacts many parts of our American way of life, not the least of which is the impact it has on American businesses and our economic prosperity.