Vast Majority of Small Businesses Want Immigration Reform

The immigration reform debate has included much discussion on work-based visa requirements and an E-Verify program that will allow necessary labor into the country while preserving US citizen jobs. When surveyed, the majority of American small businesses favor immigration reform and an E-Verify program that does not affect their bottom line.

By Tim Gallen, Pheonix Business Journal, May 17, 2013

A vast majority of U.S. small businesses believe immigration reform is vital to their businesses, according to a survey from the National Association for the Self-Employed.

The NASE survey found that 77 percent of the nation’s small companies called the issue of immigration reform important to their business.

America’s small businesses want comprehensive immigration reform that includes a stronger electronic verify system, according to the NASE.

“America’s smallest businesses are not only ready and willing to comply with an E-Verify requirement, but want a process that works at verifying if an employee can work legally in this country,” said NASE Director of Government Affairs Katie Vlietstra.

Small businesses want to comply with immigration regulations so long as they do not impact their bottom lines.

As part of the survey, 79 percent of respondents said they would not pay to outsource employment verification on new hires’ immigration status if it became mandatory. Also, 58.8 percent said employers who had full- or part-time employees should comply with an employment verification system.

NASE conducted a survey of its membership between February 25 – March 18, showing that America’s smallest businesses – the self-employed and micro-businesses (with ten or fewer employees) – find the issue of immigration reform important, want Congress to develop a balanced solution and are willing to comply with new reform regulations.

“We must work toward a fair, balanced and sensible approach to modernizing our immigration system,” said Vlietstra. “This must include simple and effective verification systems for small business owners to comply by verifying the legality of any potential employee to work in this country. Small businesses are willing to comply, but must have an efficient and effective process of doing so.”

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