State business leaders call for immigration reform - CBS46 News

Citing workforce shortage, state business leaders call for immigration reform

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Several of Georgia's business leaders convened Wednesday to present their ideas on immigration reform, measures they say are critical to maintaining a workforce that has been hurt by a lack of people to fill certain jobs.

"The stakes could hardly be higher," said Karen Bremmer, Executive Director of the Georgia Restaurant Association. "We need Congress to act (on immigration reform)."

During a time when the immigration crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border has taken center stage across the nation, Bremmer and her business colleagues talked about the need to allow some illegal immigrants, already in the United States, to seek a path to citizenship.

"We need that talent, we need it here, and we need it now," said Tino Mantella, Executive Director of the Technology Association of Georgia. He said work visa denials have had a crippling impact on Atlanta's economy. "We need that talent from around the world to come here," he said.

The contingency of business leaders also said they would favor securing the border, but with a more open process for people to obtain work visas, and a "workable employment verification system."

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