While we do not, therefore, officially endorse any action
which would harm our members, we do understand and sympathize with some of the frustration that led to the idea of the National
Day of Economic Action. Much of this is a reaction to the passage in the U.S. House of Representatives of the Sensenbrenner
immigration bill (H.R. 4437). This outrageous legislation, if passed into law, would criminalize (a) spouses who fall in love
with and marry undocumented immigrants, (b) landlords who rent or otherwise furnish room and board to undocumented immigrants,
(c) churches and other charitable organizations that provide any assistance whatever to undocumented immigrants, and (d) hospitals,
doctors, and clinics that render medical assistance to undocumented workers, even if the workers pay for the medical care.
This legislation reeks of racism and jingoism which will result in racial profiling and other abuse of Latinos in this country,
many of whom are citizens or legal permanent residents.
We recognize and celebrate the importance and value of
our Hispanic workers, entrepreneurs, and Hispanic businesses, vital to the economic
growth and security of the U.S. Immigrants are powerful consumers who contribute billions to the nation’s economy. Hispanic
spending power currently stands at $750 billion and will reach $1 trillion by 2010. Hispanic disposable income has risen 29
percent since 2001, a rate that is fully twice that of the U.S.
population as a whole.
Our mission is to support and advance the growth of our
membership, providing the leadership that will create the best possible environment in which Hispanics can operate a business while enhancing the region, to serve as a bridge for the advancement, development, and integration
of our growing Hispanic businesses and community at large.
It is a difficult time in history for Latinos nationwide.
The same immigration system which has been a defining feature of America’s
history is now broken. Instead of channels to secure legal immigration, we live
in a system that has fostered a black market of growing immigrant populations, often leading to the exploitation of undocumented
workers. Passage of comprehensive immigration reform will empower many of those people that now live in the shadows to come
forward and express their desire to comply with the laws and continue serving
as a contributing force to America and
In the proposed May 1st activities, we respect
the people’s rights to express their views on the immigration issue that
has led to the many nationwide demonstrations. We recognize the bigger picture that this issue represents to many people,
their families and ultimately to the entire American economy. As a chamber representing the interest of Hispanic-owned businesses, we care about business success; the bottom line for a business is important,
but it is no more important than the rights of those working for our bottom line.
We continue our support for an immigration reform that
should be guided by the following principles:
Strengthening our borders, by adopting a nondiscriminatory
and effective program based on humanitarian principles.
Protecting our economy and our nation’s small businesses by recognizing the significant contribution that immigrants make to the business community
Providing for a strong, accountable guest worker program
that allows undocumented immigrants to come out of the shadows and continue to contribute to the prosperity of the country
and that creates an effective pathway to legal residence and citizenship for our nation’s immigrants.
Ensuring that every student is able to gain access to a quality post-secondary education
Protecting family unity as the cornerstone of U.S. immigration policy.
strongly encourage those who plan on participating in the May 1st activities to communicate with their employers
about any planned economic action. In times when Congress is considering the passage
of a comprehensive immigration bill, we should all be sensitive to the impact that our actions may have on our economy and
on Congress. The business community
has had a significant positive effect to bring about comprehensive immigration reform in Congress,
and we do not want to see the Latino community unintentionally punish our friends who are making legislative process possible. Hispanic and non-Hispanic businesses
would be affected alike if a negative immigration bill is passed.
growth of our economy is in the hands of those who work to build a better country. Let’s not forget that every one of
us (except the American Indian) are descendants of immigrants.
The time has come for us to join efforts in support of comprehensive
legislation that rewards work, reunites families, enforces the law, and protects national security, while respecting the rights
of U.S.-born and immigrant workers.
It is in the heart of America to uphold the principles of freedom, justice
and democracy for all
We too believe.
SI SE PUEDE!