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.
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.