Cooper, Sen. Scott Call For Bipartisan Immigration Policy For Workers
In an effort to address pathways to legal status for immigrant workers, political leaders from the Carolinas joined a conversation with business leaders and immigrant rights groups from across the region Thursday.
In a recorded message played at the Carolinas Flourishing virtual summit, N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper called for overhauling federal immigration to ensure immigrant workers can continue to contribute to the economy. He talked about the impact of partisan disagreement in Congress when it comes to immigration policy.
“I look forward to the day when our nation's leaders can agree to a common-sense policy on immigration. That’s what we need to keep our economy going," Cooper said. "You can count on me to be a steady voice for such a solution.”
Also in a recorded message, Republican U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina said that 10% of the state’s agricultural workforce are immigrants with H-2A visas. The status allows migrants to work temporarily for agricultural companies and agencies in the United States.
“We need to have a bipartisan coalition working together on reforms to the program," Scott said. "I can guarantee you that we will be at that table, working with our friends across the aisle, looking for ways to bring real reform, sustainable reform, to the industry.”
In addition to Cooper and Scott, the event featured North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, Duke University President Vincent Price and representatives of companies and organizations in the region.
According to the American Business Immigration Coalition, an event co-host, more than 1.1 million immigrants live in the Carolinas. They include over 41,000 Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program recipients and 120,000 farmworkers who contribute over $10.3 billion in federal and state taxes.