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Action Alert: Senate debating immigration reform, May 2007

May 24, 2007

Urge your senators to support comprehensive immigration reform

Current situation:

The Senate is debating legislation to reform our broken immigration system (S. 1348) and is being bombarded by anti-immigrant groups. This bill is the best opportunity for true immigration reform during the past 20 years. NRCA must ensure senators hear the concerns of the roofing industry now.

How your business is affected:

The roofing industry faces chronic labor shortages. By 2012, the roofing industry alone will need an additional 70,000 new workers. These workers will not come from a native-born work force that is aging. During the next decade, workers who are 55 and older will increase 49 percent while workers who are 25-54 will grow only 5 percent. Further, by 2015, the birthrate of U.S. women will fall below "replacement level" to 1.91 children per woman. With demographic trends working against the U.S. economy, foreign workers are necessary to help fill the jobs for services and products that U.S. citizens demand.

Solution for the roofing industry:

Tell your senators to support immigration reform that:
  • Addresses the undocumented work force already here
  • Contains a robust temporary-worker program that accommodates the needs of the economy and ensures adequate visa numbers, including a mechanism to adjust numbers based on market demand
  • Has an easy-to-use employee eligibility verification system (the program will affect all 7 million businesses in the U.S. and must be rolled out and implemented in a realistic fashion—businesses must have a fast, reliable and cost-efficient way to verify all workers)
  • Preempts state laws (It is imperative to ensure federal law supersedes the hodgepodge of state and local laws and ordinances. Employers must have easy-to-understand and reliable immigration laws.)
  • Does not hold roofing contactors liable for a subcontractor's violation of immigration laws
What to do:

Debate on immigration reform will continue when Congress returns June 4 from its Memorial Day recess. It is critical that you contact your senators to urge them to support reform that addresses your concerns.
  • Attend a town-hall meeting while the Senate is in recess to let them know how you feel. Find your senators' town-hall schedule by contacting their offices using the number below.
  • Call your senators. Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 225-3121.
  • Contact your senators by e-mail. Visit www.senate.gov and click Find Your Senators in the upper right-hand corner.
For more information, contact Craig Silvertooth, NRCA's director of federal affairs, at (202) 546-7584 or csilvertooth@nrca.net.

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