Twin Cities Daily Planet
June 12, 2012
What can bring the SEIU, UFCW Local 1189, UNITE HERE Local 17 together with Ecolab, Cargill, Carlson Companies and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce? They’re all on the same page, signed on to a joint statement supporting immigration reform now. Also on that page are civic and advocacy groups, such as Isaiah and the League of Women Voters.
On June 9, the business part of the coalition brought together about 70 people in Brooklyn Park to talk about how immigration leads to economic growth and American jobs. Under the auspices of the Business Immigration Coalition, the Partnership for a New Economy, and the Minneapolis Foundation, three Minnesota business executives spoke about Minnesota’s need for immigrants.
One-third of U.S. Nobel prizewinners in science, medicine and technology are foreign-born, said Ecolab chair and CEO Douglas Baker, and 45 percent of patents filed in the United States last year were filed by immigrants. Baker said that allowing more immigration is essential to U.S. economic health. Current immigration laws severely limit the number of highly trained professionals who can immigrate, which forces high-tech companies to locate abroad, where the scientists are.