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E-Verify and Visas: An Immigration Reform Watchlist for Small Employers

Mexican immigrants work on a housing development on May 3, 2013 in Denver, Colorado
Mexican immigrants work on a housing development on May 3, 2013 in Denver, ColoradoPhotograph by John Moore/Getty Images

Immigration reform is gaining ground. Last week the Senate passed a bill by a 68-32 vote that would create a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented workers, more visas for high- and low-skilled workers, and provisions to increase border security. House leadership has signaled that it won’t take up the Senate bill, preferring instead to deal with immigration reform in a series of piecemeal laws.

Meanwhile, there’s been plenty of effort to make immigration reform feel like a make-or-break issue for small employers. Left-leaning advocacy groups, including the American Sustainable Business Council and the Main Street Alliance, have published polls indicating that small companies see immigration reform as expanding both their hiring pools and their customer bases. On the other side of the aisle, the National Federation of Independent Business warned the Senate that new red tape created by the bill would hurt small businesses’ bottom lines.