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AGC critical of bill that would restrict legal immigration

The Associated General Contractors of America is criticizing immigration-reform proposals now before Congress, saying they would do little to “alleviate the industry’s workforce shortage.”

James Christianson, vice president/government relations at the AGC, sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday saying at least one of the proposals now being debated, H.R. 4760, would be counterproductive because it would restrict legal immigration.

“Though the bill would strengthen national security—an AGC priority—through increased investment in border security, it reduces legal immigration,” Christianson wrote. “This will, in turn, restrict economic growth and worsen the domestic workforce shortage, especially in the construction industry.”

Christiansen had measured praise for another proposal, H.R. 6136.

“AGC remains hopeful that H.R. 6136 could address some of the immigration issues that have dogged Congress for years and provide a pathway to solving other complex immigration issues in a timely, bipartisan manner,” Chriastensen wrote. “AGC looks forward to working with you to find legislative solutions that can address the workforce needs of the construction industry while also gaining enough support to be enacted.”

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