Lexington County Chronicle
July 5, 2021
Small business, other owners think it can
Small business owners want US Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott to support immigration reform.
The Carolinas Chapter of the American Business Immigration Coalition, SC Small Business Chamber and other organizations urged the senators to help ease a nation-wide worker shortage.
Sen. Graham has said the crises in immigrants at the Mexican border negate any chance of immigration reform now.
SC Small Business Chamber CEO Frank Knapp said there are two critical issues:
• The continuing labor shortage.
• A 40-year low in new business start-ups.
Knapp believes both problems can be addressed with common-sense immigration.
He said the labor shortage will grow worse because many jobs open are for youth and “we’re just not producing them.”
SC and US birth rates are down.
“People all over the world want to come live and work in this country. No other country has this kind of opportunity.”
The groups support a Senate companion bill to the Farm Workforce Modernization Act.
The latter would provide undocumented farmworkers a path to citizenship.
They also want them to support:
• The Dream Act to allow citizenship for people who came to the US as children.
• The SECURE Act to provide legal status to those with temporary protected status.
The groups say immigrants have created more than 25,000 new SC businesses and generate more than $720 million in business revenue.