Immigration Reform Takes Next Step Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Legislation
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee recently approved comprehensive immigration reform legislation, Senate Bill 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act. With the large number of employees involved in the independent automotive repair industry, the Automotive Service Association (ASA) has been keeping track of the potential impact of immigration reform on independent automotive repairers.
The Senate legislation was crafted by the “Gang of 8”: Republican Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.); DemoÂcratic Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.).
Several years ago ASA hosted, along with the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), automotive industry representatives, members of Congress, congressional staff and agency representatives on Capitol Hill for the Hispanic Automotive Technician Summit.
The summit was co-chaired by the chairman of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s SubcomÂmittee on Immigration and the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Hispanic Caucus. Both of the co-chairs spoke on the issues of diversity and change, and how important it is for the automotive industry to work collectively toward providing employment opportunities to the fastest growing minority group in the United States. This summit provided the automotive industry a forum to discuss issues, concerns and possible solutions. The overflow crowd included independent automotive repairers, automobile manufacturers, dealers and educational/ training groups. In addition to congressional speakers, the program included comments from an independent repair leader, the U.S. Department of Labor, SkillsUSA, ASE and an automotive educator.
The U.S. Department of Labor speaker noted the importance of “developing an executive forum with the auto industry to identify champions to improve the industry, develop career awareness at earlier grades in the schools and assist instructors with the capacity to handle the diverse group of workers entering the industry.”
Although the top priority of Senate Bill 744 is to improve border security, the bill provides a path for individuals who are currently in the U.S. illegally. The U.S. Secretary of Labor is authorized to grant Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status to aliens unlawfully in the U.S. who:
As part of the enforcement provisions, the Senate bill prohibits an employer from:
The Senate bill is being considered on the Senate floor this summer. The House is behind the Senate in its immigration reform legislative schedule. The House Judiciary Committee is considering multiple bills that will be packaged later in the legislative process.
ASA will continue to monitor the immigration reform legislation and inform members as to important provisions. To learn more about immigration reform, please go to ASA’s legislative website, www.TakingtheHill.com.
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