Sunday, March 25, 2007

Immigrants called a 'necessity'

We need immigrants. Our workforce is not growing enough naturally to fill the need because of low birthrate and aging workers. DP

David Hendricks, Express-News business writer U.S. businesses need more immigrant workers because the native work force is growing too slowly to fill all the jobs, U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said in San Antonio on Thursday.

The U.S. work force in the 25-to-54 age range is growing at a rate of only 0.3 percent a year. That is not enough, Gutierrez said, to sustain the 3 percent annual economic growth rate that is considered healthy.

Immigration, he said, "is an economic necessity."

The industries most needing immigrant workers are construction, agriculture, hospitality and restaurants, he said during visits Thursday with the Free Trade Alliance San Antonio, the Express-News editorial board and Associated General Contractors of America.

Gutierrez, a former cereal executive, said his department is in daily negotiations with members of Congress to craft a comprehensive reform bill sought by President Bush.

One section of the bill would require that immigrants be given a worker authorization card with biometric information so employers could easily verify their eligibility, Gutierrez said.

Bush also is seeking a middle-ground solution between deporting the estimated 12 million undocumented workers already in the United States and granting them amnesty.
Be sure to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

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