Media Center

Press Release


  June 29, 2007

+ Says US Senate failure to discuss bill affects millions of Latin Americans
+ Argues that job opportunities for US workers is not compromised by immigrants

The Organization of American States’ (OAS) Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, lamenting the failure of discussions on an immigration bill in the United States Senate, has said the development will hinder prospects for finding an adequate solution to the situation facing more than 12 million immigrants, the majority of them Latin Americans.

According to Insulza, “when a proposal sponsored by the President of the United States and leaders in Congress fails to garner sufficient votes, it is clear that the conditions are not conducive to a new legislation, at least not with the current political climate,” which means new discussions on the bill will be postponed—possibly until after the 2008 presidential elections.

Insulza said “the problem is that the impact is felt by millions of Latin Americans who came here looking for work and who have helped make the economy of this country strong.” Citing the currently very low unemployment rates in the United States, he said it was “absurd” to suggest that immigrants affect US workers.

The OAS Secretary General predicted that immigrants would continue coming to and finding work in the United States “because the U.S. economy needs them and because, basically, they find a labor market –lacking in their countries of origin—that affords them a better quality of life.”

Insulza stressed that the United States government and Latin American governments need to engage afresh and negotiate regulating a social development that cannot be ignored as it will continue, for historical reasons, and cannot be left to the mercy of unscrupulous middlemen and xenophobic groups, the only ones benefiting from this situation.

Reference: E-163/07