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U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez visits Abilene, discusses immigration reform with community and business leaders

Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez

June 26, 2006

United States Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez met Wednesday with local government officials and business leaders about immigration laws in the U.S. at Abilene Christian University's Williams Performing Arts Center.

The secretary and a group of community leaders engaged in a round table discussion about ways to reform immigration policy in the U.S. Included in the secretary's thoughts on immigration was the idea of a temporary worker's permit, which is a card that must be obtained by anyone who wishes to be employed in the U.S.

Gutierrez said this permit, if approved, will decrease illegal immigration because people will realize that employment in this country isn't an option without the temporary worker's permit. He said the best way to enforce border security is by giving businesses the power to enforce these laws through temporary worker permits.

"We need to explain the logic of comprehensive immigration reform," Gutierrez said. "The best way to secure the border is by a temporary workers permit. People are finding that there is compelling logic to comprehensive immigration permit."

Mike McMahan, president of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce, said that this event was a great opportunity for Abilene business and political leaders to learn about what's happening in the U.S. government.

"[Gutierrez] was here gathering perspectives, comments and questions," McMahan said. "We're pleased to have the opportunity to have a voice for our business and community leaders."

Also covered in the meeting were ways to increase border security — increasing the number of people who guard the border — and adding state of the art technology to enforce this security.

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