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OPINION

Private Sector Pressure Can Provide a Solution for Immigration Reform

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Fernando Llano, File

By putting an end to Title 42, President Joe Biden is serving up America’s borders on a silver platter. He’s not only leaving our nation’s doors unlocked, but he’s taking the door off its hinges and rolling out the red carpet for anyone and everyone to waltz right on in. 

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You don’t have to live in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas to know the impact illegal immigration is having on our communities. 

Fortunately, in Arkansas, we have strong leaders who are on the front lines tackling this challenge for America. Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders saw firsthand the difference effective leadership could make on our immigration problem during her time in the White House. Meanwhile, Senators Cotton and Boozman have consistently stood strong in defending our border in the U.S. Senate, including the introduction of various pieces of legislation aimed at curbing the illegal immigration crisis caused by the Biden administration’s mismanagement.

But as we’ve seen, President Biden and his border czar, Vice President Kamala Harris, are going to make it exceedingly difficult for any meaningful change to come at our border. That’s why we need to ramp up the pressure on this administration – ultimately, they are accountable for and should be required to secure the border as a key element of any type of much needed reform. 

While we need Congress to act, we also need the public pressure to mount and explain why a solution is desperately needed if there will be any hope of making meaningful change on our border. That’s why it’s encouraging to see influential business groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launching efforts like its LIBERTY Campaign, which is a clear-minded approach on immigration reform that calls on our federal government to enforce existing laws, strengthen our porous borders, and place a premium on reforms that help get legal migrants to work in our communities. The tenants of this campaign include:    

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- Securing our southern border and increasing the necessary resources in order to accomplish that stated goal;

- Reforming our existing asylum laws;

- Creating advanced and modern employment verification reforms;

- Level-setting the employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant visas based on market demand for season and non-seasonal worker programs;

- Moth-balling arcane visa options for students, entrepreneurs, and other high-demand workers and modernizing our visa system to help and encourage American employers to meet our Nation's critical workforce needs.

Over 430 diverse business groups and trade associations have signed on to this campaign calling for immigration reform. Arkansas is well-represented in this effort with the Arkansas Chamber of Commerce and regional chambers from Rogers-Lowell, Fayetteville, Harrison, and Little Rock all having signed on to the letter.  

It is this exact type of public pressure we need at a time when the Biden administration and Democrats in Congress seem indifferent to the impacts illegal immigration is having on our businesses and our communities. As the letter for the LIBERTY Campaign states:

“Companies are experiencing significant workforce shortages despite their sizable investments in expanding U.S. talent pipelines. As a result, companies of all sizes and across a host of industries are wrestling with the myriad problems caused by their inability to adequately tap into global talent to meet their workforce needs.”

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Our country is in need of a catalyst to ensure generational change in immigration policies, and I believe the LIBERTY campaign is that catalyst and can act as a springboard for businesses, groups and other non-governmental entities to speak out on the need for immigration reform and how the current immigration policies of the Biden administration – or lack thereof – are harming our communities and industries.

We need Congress to step up and fix our broken immigration system. With the private sector now backing Republican efforts, we’re hopefully one step closer to a much-needed solution.

 

Brit McKenzie is a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives.

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