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Retailers call for reform of immigration laws

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WASHINGTON – The National Retail Federation was one of more than 180 organizations that called on Tuesday for Congress and president-elect Joe Biden to reform the nation’s immigration system. Among other steps, the groups said participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program should be allowed to remain in the country.

“America’s retailers support practical, comprehensive immigration reform that addresses the needs of both employers and law-abiding immigrants in today’s 21st century economy,” NRF senior vice president for government relations David French said. “The current immigration system is broken and in need of bipartisan reform. Whether it’s Dreamers who came here as children or highly skilled workers, immigrants have always played a key role in our nation’s success and we welcome the contributions they make to our communities and economy.”

NRF was among entities and individuals representing the business community, faith-based groups, law enforcement, education, advocacy and civic organizations that signed a statement calling on Congress and Biden to address immigration laws that are “decades overdue for an overhaul.”

Biden is expected to announce a sweeping immigration plan on Wednesday, his first day in office.

“We urge both Congress and the new administration to make clear their commitment to reforming our nation’s outdated, broken immigration system,” the statement said. “We especially call on Congress to come together and quickly provide a pathway to citizenship that would allow Dreamers to stay in the U.S. and become fully integrated into our communities.”

The statement said there is “strong support” for immigration reform that addresses border security, expanded visa programs for highly skilled workers and agricultural workers, and “regularizing” the status of undocumented immigrants.

NRF noted that it has led the retail industry’s support of immigration reform for years. NRF filed a friend-of-the-court brief in 2019 asking the Supreme Court to uphold the DACA program, and last year was among several business organizations that filed a joint lawsuit opposing the suspension of new nonimmigrant visas.


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