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Melaluca's Vandersloot calls on businesses to back immigration reform

By By Caleb James, Reporter
Published On: Apr 17 2013 11:37:26 PM CDT

Caleb James reports.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

Melaleuca CEO Frank Vandersloot Wednesday hosted a tele-conference summit to garner the support of business leaders for an immigration reform bill unveiled Tuesday by a bi-partisan committee of US senators.

Understanding the new bill in its current form faces months of debate and potential amendments, Vandersloot made an appeal to businesses to support the process.

"We can't control our borders until we give (immigrants) a legal way to come here," Vandersloot said during the phone call.     

At the head of the table at Melaleuca headquarters, Vandersloot made an impassioned telephonic plea to a group of 9 major players in the Idaho economy -- from the Idaho Dairymen's Association to Micron.

The conference was assembled after a senate committee Tuesday unveiled an immigration reform bill that could end the threat of deportation for most undocumented immigrants -- allowing those already here to work legally after a series of fines.

"Certainly Idaho and Wyoming and all the neighboring states are impacted dramatically by this law," said Vandersloot.
 
During the teleconference, Vandersloot said the plan is progress.

"No fence is going to be tall enough, high enough, wide enough," he said. "We couldn't put enough razor wire on it or under it to stop these people from coming here because they love their kids. They love their family, they want a better life."

That better life, said Vandersloot, usually means a desire to work in the US, not necessarily a desire for citizenship.

"President Obama keeps insisting on citizenship because he knows it will be blocked," said Vandersloot.
 
But an easier path to work legally in the US is something Vandersloot said he can get behind.

"I think it's time that we can solve this problem," he said.  

The new bill would allow undocumented immigrants who arrived in the US before December 31, 2011 to apply for legal status within 6 months of the legislation being signed into law.

The senate bill is sponsored by John McCain (R-Arizona) and Charles Schumer (D-New York).

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