Federal immigration reform has taken a back seat as lawmakers turn their attention to next year’s election, budget matters and partisanship.
However, communities around the country refuse the let the issue fall to the wayside, with an estimated 11 million people lacking immigration documents, controversially calling the United States home. They continue to live in ambiguity, uncertain of their fate.
Immigration reform advocates banded together on Tuesday to announce that they have garnered support from over 300 businesses in the Rio Grande Valley. They hope this level of support will help keep President Barack Obama’s executive actions with regard to immigration in the spotlight.
The advocates are part of the Rio Grande Valley Equal Voice Network.
Cynthia Vargas, who owns Pac Insurance in McAllen, Texas voiced her support on Tuesday, saying about 80 percent of her customers are immigrants.
“I live it, in person with my husband. I hear people on a daily basis, who say, ‘I want to be legal. I wish I have identification,’” she said. “If they have the opportunity to get identification, I could contribute more to the economy.”
Should the proposals go into effect, Texas would benefit greatly. The state has over 746,000 undocumented immigrants, who could bring in as much as $338 million to the state’s economy according to information from the Center for American Progress.
“Undocumented Texans are customers, workers and business owners that contribute both to the vitality of our economy and to our state’s tax revenues,” the network of grassroots organizations said in a statement. “Our businesses don’t discriminate against customers based on immigration status. Our laws shouldn’t either.”
Source: “Texas Businesses Stand Up for Immigration Reform,” Equal Voice News, October 20th, 2015