By Sherry Jordan
May 30, 2023

Immigration revamp for growth

Broad support for immigration reform has remained consistent among various interest groups. Edmond Chamber CEO Sherry Jordan weighs in.

For decades, political leaders in both parties have claimed that immigration reform was a top legislative priority.

Yet, none have succeeded in delivering lasting solutions to fix our broken immigration system. Despite this track record, broad support for reform has remained consistent among various interest groups. The 118th Congress must secure our borders and modernize our legal immigration system to meet the needs of our economy.

Companies in Oklahoma are struggling to find, hire, and retain the workers they need to compete globally. Many businesses tell us they need help finding American workers to fill their job openings, and those issues are making it challenging to meet the needs of their clients and customers.

The real issue

Bringing our legal immigration system into the 21st century would help ameliorate these workforce issues. Still, a fundamental problem for many American businesses is the antiquated employment-based system, arbitrary eligibility requirements, and ridiculously low, decades-old visa quotas. It should come as no surprise that companies across many industries struggle to meet their workforce needs.

In many cases, the antiquated legal immigration system and its severe limitations on employment-based migration are key contributing factors to the current chaos on our southern border. Given the divided government in Washington, any legal immigration reforms that will help must go hand in hand with addressing critical border security issues.

Change is possible

To address the current border crisis, Congress must increase physical, human, and technological resources along our borders and at our ports of entry. Congress must also enact sensible reforms to our asylum laws and modernize federal employment verification requirements.

Coupling enhanced border security measures with desperately needed updates to our legal immigration system is a politically popular course of action.

According to a recent Fox News poll, overwhelming majorities of Americans – both Democrats and Republicans – agree that Congress should increase the number of border patrol agents on the southern border, increase the number of judges to process asylum cases more expeditiously, and make it easier to immigrate to the U.S.

A call to action

The Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce believes the 118th Congress can rise to meet this crucial moment and listen to American voters to strengthen our borders and update our legal immigration system to spur economic growth, boost job creation, and reestablish order on our southern border.

Failing to address these issues will only make the crises we’re facing on the border and in our legal immigration worse.

Three decades of legislative inaction is enough. Congress cannot afford to ignore these issues any longer.

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About Sherry Jordan

Sherry Jordan is the President and Chief Executive Officer for the Edmond Chamber of Commerce. Sherry was promoted to this position in September 2016 and has served in several roles during her 15 years at the Edmond Chamber. Sherry has been the leader for the Chamber’s accreditation process in 2005, 2010 and 2015 which culminated in a 5-star rating. While there are over 8,000 chambers in the US, the Edmond Chamber is one of only 105 chambers to achieve this rating.

Sherry and her husband Brad have been married for 30 years and are parents to two daughters. Taylor is a teacher in Edmond Public Schools and Bailey is currently in medical school at the University of Oklahoma.