Washington, D.C. – To bridge the divide on immigration policy, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) released a 16-page immigration and border security proposal to fix our broken system once and for all. The detailed plan, titled “A Way Forward,” can be viewed at https://www.nam.org/awayforward.
America has now endured two government shutdowns brought on by different disagreements over immigration, illustrating how divisive this debate has become. It has left manufacturers—and the country as a whole—both rightly frustrated and more eager to achieve a real immigration solution, said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. Manufacturers are in the business of building bridges and creating solutions, so with our leaders in desperate need of a way forward on essential immigration and border security reforms, we are releasing a detailed, pragmatic approach that will make America safer and our economy stronger and smarter for decades to come.
We know that certain components will not sit well with some groups. That is the nature of compromise. Our current situation demands a pragmatic, common-sense and comprehensive approach, and that can only be reached if everyone is willing to listen to all sides and understand that giving ground on some issues can enable them to accomplish their own top priorities.
The NAM’s “A Way Forward” proposal identifies seven core areas of action for Congress and the administration to take:
- Build walls, fences and barriers and employ other measures to strengthen border security.
- Prioritize America’s workforce needs through reforms to the legal immigration system.
- Reform nonimmigrant visas and temporary worker programs to reflect employer needs, including a fund to support STEM programs so that we can reduce the need for these types of visas in the future.
- Provide a permanent and compassionate solution for populations facing uncertainty, including the Dreamers, who were brought here as children and know no other home.
- Reform asylum and refugee programs for a more orderly and humane system, including asylum standards consistent with our values.
- Fix the problem of the unauthorized population with a firm reset, requiring an orderly process of review, including financial penalties for those who seek to become legal and deportation for those who choose to stay in the shadows.
- Strengthen the rule of law so that it is respected and followed by all, with a focus on gang violence and also on requiring localities to cooperate to advance the enforcement of immigration priorities.