NRCA issues a statement on Senate Immigration Legislation
April 17, 2013
NRCA commends the "Gang of Eight" senators for developing a bipartisan proposal
to fix our broken immigration system and is pleased that Congress is moving forward
regarding this critical issue. NRCA has long supported reform that increases border
security; improves enforcement without burdening employers; provides an avenue for
workers to enter the U.S. legally when our economy needs them; and addresses the
existing illegal workforce.
NRCA looks forward to reviewing the proposed legislation and evaluating its effects
on the roofing industry. On a preliminary basis, it appears this legislation gets
the big picture correct. However, NRCA has serious concerns that the bill in its
current form may not resolve key problems that now plague our immigration system.
NRCA is pleased to see bipartisan consensus regarding the need for a lesser-skilled
temporary worker program (W-Visa program) that provides a legal avenue for businesses
to obtain workers from abroad when domestic workers cannot fill job openings. Our
members prefer to hire U.S. workers, but experience demonstrates this is not always
possible within the roofing industry, even during a weak economy. NRCA supports
a temporary worker program that is governed by market forces, protects U.S. workers
and enables employers to obtain the workers needed to grow their businesses.
NRCA believes the basic construct of the new W-Visa program appears to meet the
needs of U.S. employers and workers. However, we are concerned that severe and arbitrary
limitations placed on the number of visas allotted to the construction industry
will serve as a virtual exclusion from the program. It is disturbing that lawmakers
would single out construction, one of the hardest-hit sectors during the recession
and weak recovery of the past few years, for onerous treatment. Our dysfunctional
immigration system will not be fixed if it fails to address the needs of the construction
industry, a major contributor to the U.S. economy and job growth.
NRCA will also examine the employer enforcement requirements and other provisions
of interest to the roofing industry. We look forward to working with lawmakers in
the Senate and House to improve this proposal and enact immigration reform legislation
into law this year.
For questions or more information, please contact Duane Musser, NRCA's vice president
of government relations, at (202) 546-7584 or firstname.lastname@example.org.