August 10, 2007

Washington, D.C.—The Bush Administration today announced its plans to modify its border security and immigration enforcement policies based on current law through a series of proposed reforms.

“We appreciate that the administration needs to enforce the law and secure our borders. Unfortunately, the measures announced today fall far short of the nation’s security and economic needs,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). “We will see real progress only if, and when, Congress enacts comprehensive immigration reform.”

Any comprehensive immigration reform should include: a workable, reliable employment verification process; penalties for employers that are proportionate to the violation; a meaningful guest worker program; avoidance of a new debarment process for immigration violations; a path to legal status for illegal immigrants who are working and contributing to society; and no liability on the part of general contractors for the hiring violations of subcontractors or vendors.

“Comprehensive immigration reform remains the best solution to securing our borders and growing our nation’s economy – including filling the void of 185,000 skilled workers that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates are needed in construction each year for the next 10 years,” noted Sandherr.

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is the largest and oldest national construction trade association in the United States. AGC represents more than 32,000 firms, including 7,000 of America’s leading general contractors, and over 11,000 specialty-contracting firms. More than 13,000 service providers and suppliers are associated with AGC through a nationwide network of chapters. Visit the AGC Web site at AGC members are "Building Your Quality of Life.”

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