Silicon Valley Businesses join community and labor leaders to urge Congress to “get back to work” on immigration reform

For Immediate Release
Sept. 9, 2013

Contact: Khanh Weinberg
408.921.0098

Silicon Valley Businesses join community and labor leaders to urge Congress to “get back to work” on immigration reform

Coalition presents new county-specific data showing local economic boost from comprehensive immigration reform: Santa Clara County to add more than 7,600 new jobs by 2020

Mountain View, CA – Timed to mark Congress’ return to Washington, D.C. today from summer recess, a statewide coalition of business, faith, civil rights, community and labor groups staged numerous public events calling on House members to put immigration reform with a path to citizenship at the top of the agenda. The event in Santa Clara County today was one of nine across California, where a diverse coalition of allies urged Congress to help turn our economy around by “getting back to work” to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

At Monday’s community forum in Mountain View, the coalition shared new county data showing immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship will provide a significant boost to the Santa Clara County economy and create jobs. The event featured a panel discussion from participants including the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the Chamber of Commerce Mountain View, a law firm that works with small immigrant businesses and others.

“Businesses and labor, Democrats and Republicans all support comprehensive reforms with a path to earned citizenship. Our leaders in the House need to listen,” said Denise Solis, Vice President at SEIU United Service Workers West. “Washington, D.C. needs to put aside the rhetoric and get to work on real solutions that boost our economy and let families live in dignity.”

A recent 10-county economic assessment by the Regional Models Economic, Inc. showed Santa Clara County, which is home to approximately 6.26% of the state’s total undocumented population, would have a $160 million gain by 2014 in Gross County Product and $623 million in 2020.

“Chambers of Commerce are at the forefront of the needs of small and large businesses,” explained Oscar Garcia, President and CEO of Chamber of Commerce Mountain View. “We need an immigration system with laws that are easy to enforce, make sense and are effective. We strongly encourage lawmakers to move quickly and enact comprehensive immigration reform that will serve the needs of employers and workers,” he added.

The U.S. Senate has passed legislation that would help the economy in local communities flourish by drawing on the skills, talents and economic input of every Californian. But House Republican leaders have so far ignored the strong majority of Americans who support a comprehensive approach, refusing to bring a reform bill forward for a vote.

Today’s event was held at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation in Mountain View; community members were invited to attend the panel discussion.

Participants included:
Alison Ascher Webber, Building Skills Partnership, Associate Director
Manuel Santamaria, Grantmaking Director, Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Oscar Garcia, President/ CEO, Chamber of Commerce Mountain View
Christine M. Pham, Attorney at the Jaurigue Law Group
Denis Solis, Vice President at SEIU United Service Workers West
Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network (SIREN)
SEIU-USWW & SEIU Local 521

Reports:
White Paper: The projected Economic Impact of Providing Legal Status in California, A County Specific Assessment

What’s at Stake for the State: Undocumented Californians, Immigration Reform, and Our Future Together

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