National Restaurant Association Supports Bipartisan Action on Immigration Reform

National Restaurant Association Supports Bipartisan Action on Immigration Reform


Washington, DC–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–May 12, 2005–The National Restaurant Association today praised Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Ted Kennedy (D-MA), and Representatives Jim Kolbe (R-AZ), Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) for introducing the “Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act” in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. The Association commended the lawmakers for recognizing the need for a meaningful solution to reform the nation’s immigration laws.

“The restaurant industry is the nation’s largest employer of immigrants, and has a long and proud history of providing rewarding career opportunities to people from all backgrounds,” said Lee Culpepper, the Association’s senior vice president of Government Affairs and Public Policy and Chairman of the National Immigration Forum. “We commend Senators McCain and Kennedy and Reps. Kolbe, Flake and Gutierrez for working together to craft bipartisan legislation that advances the critical debate on immigration reform. While there are no easy solutions to our country’s significant immigration problems, the ‘Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act’ offers a realistic and balanced approach to addressing the security and economic shortcomings of our immigration system.”

The “Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act” creates a new, legal and orderly immigration system for foreign workers. The proposal also includes numerous safeguards and employer penalties for those that violate the law.

The National Restaurant Association believes that immigration reform is necessary in stabilizing the nation’s workforce. Like hundreds of thousands of immigrants who came before them, today’s immigrants are having a substantial impact on the restaurant industry’s ethnic cuisines, as well as its work force. Immigrants contribute significantly to our nation, our history and to our industry. The restaurant industry is the largest private-sector employer with 12.2 million workers, of which 1.4 million are foreign born immigrants. According to Association research, 20 percent of the restaurant industry’s owners are Hispanic or Asian, and 27 percent of chefs and cooks are Latino.

As a leader of the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition (EWIC), the National Restaurant Association has long pointed out the need for changes in immigration laws to address the country’s workforce needs.

“This bipartisan bill is an important step in the immigration reform process,” said Culpepper. “While there are some yet to be resolved issues with the legislation, we look forward to working with the bill sponsors and other lawmakers to secure passage of comprehensive immigration reform.”

For a printable version of this release, our news release archive or more information about the restaurant industry, please click on the link below:

If you have questions, please contact the National Restaurant Association’s Media Relations Department at, or call (202) 973-3677, and remember to visit our Web site frequently to learn why restaurants are the cornerstone of the economy, career and employment opportunities, and community involvement.



Brad Dayspring, (202) 331-5902


Katharine Kim, (202) 331-5939

National Restaurant Association Supports Bipartisan Action on Immigration Reform