In a letter to Congress, on January 8, 2019 the U.S. Chamber of Commerce urged Congress and the administration to end the shutdown and enact legislation to provide needed immigration reforms that enjoy broad support.
Specifically, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce identified the need for meaningful reforms to a broken immigration system as the real imperative that needs to be addressed. Its letter urged passage of legislation to permanently legalize the over one million immigrants on the cusp of losing their work permits and right to remain in the U.S. due to the administration’s decisions to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvadorans, Haitians, Hondurans , Nepalis, Nicaraguans, and Sudanese, about 250,000 of whom have lived legally in the U.S. for over 20 years. Right now, only federal court injunctions are blocking the administration’s actions that would strip them of their status.
The U.S. Chamber also supports increased border security, but not a wall, which the majority of the U.S. public also oppose, according to multiple polls.
As another business lobbying group, FWD.us, points out, the administration rejected multiple previous offers to increase border security, including funding for some additional border wall, in exchange for legal status for DACA holders. It’s now the administration’s obligation to end the shutdown and negotiate in good faith. The economic and human costs of the shutdown and stalemate are too high.