New Voices in the Debate on Immigration Reform

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Immigration reform has been a long debate that has only received attention in the last year, and now Mega-Republican donors are chiming in.  Why? To clarify their position and let everyone know it is not okay to subjugate a group of people and basically make people indentured servents.

Monday, August 28th, the Dallas Morning News printed a piece signed by  dozens of donors and political insiders titled “Texas Business: Pass Imigigration Reform”.

We own and run a variety of businesses: agriculture, food processing, hospitality, construction, banking and more, mostly but not exclusively in Texas. And we know, if not firsthand, certainly at close reach, just how much the economy depends on immigrant labor.
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Not all employers mean well, of course. Some companies exploit illegal immigrants. But most who turn to foreign workers do so out of necessity. We aren't looking for “cheap labor.” We're looking for available labor, period – and for some businesses, the choice is to hire immigrants or close shop.

Is it possible that these conservative mega-donors disagree with their party and support a guest worker program that has been promoted and tied up by the Republican led Congress?  What are they doing with their dollars and influence to ensure that a debate and vote occurs when the Federal Government reconvenes? It is always encouraging to see people often on the wrong side of issues come out publicly and support doing the right thing. However, empty rhetoric is not enough.

As chairmen, CEOs and stockholders, we call on Congress to act – to go back to Washington and pass realistic immigration reform that provides the workers we need to keep our businesses growing.

We understand that this will include workplace enforcement. In fact, we welcome reform that gives us the tools to stay on the right side of the law. The important thing is that this vital part of the economy be brought under the rule and protection of the law.

Neither the immigrants here today nor those we will need in the future should have to live in the shadows. These are good people with good values doing work that we need done, reaching for the American Dream and helping make it a reality for all. As we value the work, let us value the worker – and let's fix the law so that it serves all Americans.

Will these CEO’s, Chairmen, and Stockholders continue to fund and support individuals like Lamar Smith, John Carter, or Ron Paul? Will they write checks for George Antuna, Gene Seamen, or Bill Welch? Or do they want to support real reform with John Courage, Mary Beth Harrell, Shane Sklar, Joe Farias, Juan Garcia, and Valinda Bolton? (This is the perfect time to give to your TexRoots candidates) These are all candidates for this November who disagree with this position.

Talk is good, but actions speak louder than words. Who signed the letter?

  • Bo Pilgrim  Pilgrim's Pride, Pittsburg
  • Harold Simmons  Contran Corporation, Dallas
  • Bob Perry  Perry Homes, Houston
  • Vance Miller  Henry S. Miller, Dallas
  • J. Huffines  Huffines Auto Group, Dallas
  • Red McCombs  McCombs Enterprises, San Antonio
  • W.L. Hunt  Hunt Building Corporation, El Paso
  • James Leininger  M.D., San Antonio
  • Phil Adams  Phil Adams Company, Bryan
  • Bob Barnes Schlotzsky's, Austin
  • Kent Hance  Hance Scarborough Wright, Dallas
  • Tom Loeffler  Loeffler Tuggey Pauerstein Rosenthal LLP, San Antonio
  • Louis Beecherl  Beecherl Investments, Dallas 
  • Henry J. “Bud” Smith  Bud Smith Organization, Dallas
  • Dennis Nixon  IBC Bank, Laredo
  • Ernesto Ancira Jr.  Ancira Enterprises, San Antonio
  • Tom Hewitt  Interstate Hotels & Resorts
  • Tom Corcoran  FelCor Lodging Trust Inc.
  • Lionel Sosa  MATT.org, San Antonio
  • Henry Cisneros  CityView, San Antonio
  • Henry R. Muñoz III  Kell Muñoz Architects, San Antonio
  • Harold MacDowell  TDIndustries, Dallas
  • Pedro Aguirre  Aguirre Corporation, Dallas
  • Robert “Buddy” Barnes  Dee Brown Inc., Garland
  • Stephen M. Pitt  Boulder Imports, Houston
  • Brad Bouma Select Milk Producers Inc., Plainview
  • Wayne Palla  Dairy Farmers of America, Grapevine
  • Jim Baird Lone Star Milk Producers Inc., Windthorst
  • Randy Davis  Greenleaf Nursery, El Campo
  • Josh Bracken  Nicholson-Hardie Garden Centers, Dallas
  • David R. Pinkus  Tawakoni Plant Farm, Wills Point
  • Don Darby  Darby Greenhouses & Farms, Jacksonville
  • Georges Le Mener  Accor North America, Carrollton
  • Stevan Porter InterContinental Hotels Group
  • John Caparella  Gaylord Hotels
  • Tony Farris  Quorum Hotels

The letter sums it up best when they say:

Not only that, but immigrant workers renew and reinvigorate America. They remind us what it's like to give a job your all. We talk about old-fashioned family values; they live them. And those of us who cherish our faith and love our country can only rejoice at their devotion to both.

Now it is time to see if they are visionaries in the plight of families and workers or hypocrites working to ensure than can make money at the cost of anyone willing to work hard for their families.

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4 Comments

  1. Does it really matter what their motivations are?
    The Republicans thought they'd be able to play the race card to distract voters from Iraq, but they have now found that immigration is a much more nuanced issue than they realized.

    One of those nuances is that some businesses would get killed with an aggressive, ship-'em-home policy.  Now they're getting pressure from within, and that's fine with me, regardless of the motivations.

    Any time the Tom Tancredo's and Ron Paul's of the world get punished for their racism is a good thing.

  2. Thank you as always…
    I would like to think these are compassionate men who care for their country as well as their employees and really mean what they say.  However, I am not a total fool. They are Republicans. Need anyone say more? 

    They want cheap labor and want themselves excluded from tax and labor law. Good times again down on the old plantation!  Yeeeeeeeeehawwwwwwww!

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