AHLA's Hotel Industry Statement on Draft Immigration Principles
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), the sole national association representing all segments of the 1.8 million-employee lodging industry, issued the following statement on the draft immigration reform principles offered today by House Republican leadership:
Immigration reform is one of AH&LA's top priorities for 2014 as outlined in the association's recently-issued "Pro-Growth Policy Agenda for 2014." In particular, the lodging industry is seeking reforms that:
- Establish a process to identify, screen, fine, and place in probationary status those undocumented workers currently in the U.S.;
- Ensure that any new employment verification system is effective, efficient, and fair;
- Strengthen the H-2B temporary worker program;
- Create a new lesser-skilled temporary worker program that allows non-agricultural employers to obtain workers when American workers are unavailable; and
- Include the provisions of the Jobs Originated Through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act to streamline visa processing and expand the number of countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program.
The U.S. lodging industry is a strong driver of jobs and economic growth, currently employing 1.8 million hotel property workers and paying $200.9 billion in travel-related wages and salaries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects lodging will create more than 141,000 new jobs by 2020, and hoteliers are concerned over continuing difficulties in finding enough U.S. workers to fill these jobs. It is anticipated the problem will become more acute as the economy recovers, despite the good wages and growth opportunity afforded by the industry.
About the American Hotel & Lodging Association
Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) is the largest national association solely representing all segments of the 8 million jobs the U.S. lodging industry supports, including hotel owners, REITs, chains, franchisees, management companies, independent properties, bed and breakfasts, state hotel associations, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AHLA focuses on strategic advocacy, communications support, and educational resources for an industry that advances long-term career opportunities for employees, invests in local communities across the country and hosts more than one billion guests" stays in American hotels every year. AHLA proudly represents a dynamic hotel industry of more than 54,000 properties that supports $1.1 trillion in U.S. sales and generates nearly $170 billion in taxes to local, state and federal governments. Learn more at www.AHLA.com.