GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - The Alliance for Immigrants Rights and Reform Michigan wants some of the same things President Obama mentioned in his State of the Union address, and while human rights is their focus, they cite economic benefits to reform.
In his speech, the president said , "Real reform means strong border security, and we can build on the progress my administration has already made - putting more boots on the southern border than at any time in our history, and reducing illegal crossings to their lowest levels in 40 years.
"Real reform means establishing a responsible pathway to earned citizenship - a path that includes passing a background check, paying taxes and a meaningful penalty, learning English and going to the back of the line behind the folks trying to come here legally.
"And real reform means fixing the legal immigration system to cut waiting periods, reduce bureaucracy and attract the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers that will help create jobs and grow our economy.
"In other words, we know what needs to be done. As we speak, bipartisan groups in both chambers are working diligently to draft a bill, and I applaud their efforts. Now let's get this done. Send me a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the next few months, and I will sign it right away."
Susan Im, an immigration attorney in Grand Rapids, told 24 Hour News 8, "We have hundreds, several hundred, of engineering, high-tech positions that cannot be filled by West Michigan employers. They have no choice but to turn to foreign talent because we are not pumping out enough US grads in those stem fields."
The group claims there are too many obstacles keeping job-creating foreign entrepreneurs and investors out of the US as well.
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