Nov. 25, 2015 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Congress Must Step Up on Immigration Reform | Commentary

E-Verify is a simple and standardized program that lets businesses check the status of job applicants. This will ensure that employers know the immigration status of job applicants and that those employers who willingly hire undocumented workers will be held accountable. It would let businesses act in good faith and streamline their hiring processes — an important area for cost savings in an era of mounting regulations.

Our international competitiveness is an important issue for the House to consider. The countries we compete with in the global marketplace are quickly modernizing their immigration laws. Meanwhile, we flounder in a toxic mix of partisan bickering and attempts to score cheap political points for electoral gain, unable to affect necessary change to our immigration system.

For the visionary countries that have updated their immigration systems, they have added a valuable tool that they can use to compete against us: The ability to attract the world’s best and brightest. This is an advantage that used to be almost exclusively ours. Now, we are losing our edge.

This should weigh heavily on Congress’ collective conscience. Immigration reform touches almost every aspect of our country’s greatness; from economic growth to our national spirit of kindness to our continued ability to lead the world. It would be a shame for us to simply let this issue sit idle on the sidelines until it’s more politically convenient.

Joe Essa is the President of Wolfgang Puck Worldwide.

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