|By PR Newswire||
|January 21, 2013 07:00 AM EST||
SEATTLE, Jan. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- In 2010, the Seattle Port Commission passed a motion urging the United States Congress to take up immigration reform, citing national and economic security policy. In a letter to Washington's congressional delegation, commissioners stated their support for providing for a regulated, orderly, safe and secure system of immigration into the United States.
"The State of Washington is the most trade dependent state in the union, and the strength of King County's economy is highly dependent on the movement of people and goods," stated Commissioner John Creighton, co-sponsor of the motion. "It is critical that federal immigration laws are effective in addressing the economic development and national security concerns of our nation's gateways."
Immigration policy also impacts the day-to-day operations of the seaport and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, which is an important port of entry to the United States. Over the last few years, the immigration issue has unfortunately been too partisan and divisive to bring any real change in federal laws and policies. Several developments in the last year, however, make it more likely that the nation will see progress on real, effective immigration reform.
Companies such as Microsoft that employ tens of thousands of workers across the country have begun to speak up about the need for more visas to recruit skilled workers from all over the world to work at Microsoft offices and research centers. Farmers, both big and small, are having a difficult time recruiting labor and crops have rotted in the fields as immigration authorities have cracked down and some states passed restrictive laws of their own. And the national Republican Party has begun to rethink its opposition to comprehensive immigration reform since the November 2012 election when Latinos and other immigrant populations voted heavily for the Democratic Party.
Commissioner Creighton points to all of these developments as positive as they will likely move Congress to action on immigration reform in 2013. Said Commissioner Creighton, "Washington business relies on immigrant labor, and immigration reform is essential to an inclusive and sustainable economic recovery for our state."
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