Many businesses, fearing loss of workers and higher costs, oppose harsh reforms
— reported by the Houston Chronicle
Immigration reform is needed, but if certain provisions under consideration in Congress become law, Houstonians can expect to see construction costs rise, some restaurants close and services largely performed by Hispanic immigrants harder to find.
That’s the view from some in Houston’s business community to proposals aimed at reducing the number of undocumented workers in the U.S.
“You have to understand, if you take those people out, who’s going to build your homes? Who’s going to cook in your restaurants? Who’s going to cut your yards? Who’s going to take care of your kids?” asked Harvey Garza, president of the Cámara de Empresarios Latinos de Houston, a chamber of 400 immigrant entrepreneurs .
The provision that’s drawing the greatest opposition from employers, workers and business organizations is one in the House bill that would increase the criminal penalties on employers who hire undocumented workers. Under current law, employers are subject to criminal prosecution if they knowingly hire 10 undocumented workers in a year’s time, according to Jacob Monty, an immigration lawyer in Houston who represents employers.