Latest News
HomeAssociationsHoteliers ask US government for immigration reform
American Hotel & Lodging Association

Hoteliers ask US government for immigration reform

Members of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) discussed the need for immigration reform with Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez. Hoteliers representing various segments of the…

Members of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) discussed the need for immigration reform with Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez. Hoteliers representing various segments of the lodging industry joined the Secretary on a conference call to talk about the need for immigration reform and the current state of debate in Congress.



During the call, Secretary Gutierrez noted that the current legislative effort in Congress is the best opportunity the country has to reform our immigration system. He emphasized that if this opportunity is missed, the nation’s economy and national security will suffer. Gutierrez noted that Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff has said he would rather focus his department’s efforts on stopping those people who try to enter the country to do harm rather than try to find people working in various businesses throughout the country.



“We greatly appreciate Secretary Gutierrez sharing with us his insights on immigration reform and why it is so important,” noted Geoffrey A. Ballotti, president, North America, Starwood Hotels & Resorts International. “He clearly understands that reforming our immigration system is critical to protecting our national security and economic security as well.”



AH&LA has been on the forefront in calling for reforming the immigration system to ensure borders are secure, employers know whom they are hiring, and the economy has an adequate labor force to support economic growth. The United States Senate is currently debating S. 1348, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, which will increase border security; create an electronic employment verification system; establish a process through which current undocumented workers would be identified, screened, fined and, if they qualify, provided a conditional legal status; and create a new temporary guest worker program for the future labor needs of our economy.



Dan Musser, president of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan, said “Secretary Gutierrez has a deep understanding of the need for immigration reform to ensure seasonal properties like the Grand Hotel can obtain those temporary workers to staff our businesses when we have a dramatic increase in need for workers during our busy season.”



Modest growth in the lodging sector, which employed 1.4 million hotel property workers in 2004, is expected to result in the need for 300,000 additional workers by 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In recent years, hoteliers have sought to attract and retain employees through numerous initiatives. The industry is a leader in both welfare-to-work and school-to-work efforts, and AH&LA has partnered with prominent organizations such as America’s Promise and Esperanza USA to promote careers in lodging. Despite these efforts, the lodging industry faces widespread labor shortages.



“Secretary Gutierrez was very clear on why reforming our immigration system is so important,” said Bob McCarthy, president, North American Lodging Operations and Global Brand Management, Marriott International. “He understands the necessity of fixing our broken immigration system to secure our borders and providing the labor our economy needs for the future.”



“I am amazed at the level of dedication and the amount of effort Secretary Gutierrez has exhibited over the past two years in pressing to reform our immigration system,” said Joseph A. McInerney, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. “President Bush and Secretary Gutierrez have been resolute in their commitment to pass this reform that is absolutely critical to our continued economic growth and national security.”

23/07/2024
22/07/2024
19/07/2024
18/07/2024
17/07/2024
16/07/2024