As a lawyer focusing on hospitality immigration, I often educate my clients on immigration issues relating to this industry. The number one concern from most employers is how to hire much needed hospitality workers legally. The often feel that the government is ignoring their needs. I came across this interesting article about a restaurant owner from San Antonio not afraid to raise his voice.
Louis Barrios says that his biggest fear as an employer, a small businessman and an American is that Congress will continue to avoid dealing with immigration reform. Any society with an aging population like ours that doesn’t have a steady stream of immigrant labor is in trouble, he said. By 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of workers between the ages of 16 and 24 will decline, while the number between 25 and 54 will rise only slightly.
That means the only significant growth in the American labor pool over the next eight years will be among those 55 and older. Unless Washington, D.C., expects 60-year-olds to pick crops, wash dishes in restaurants and pound nails in the construction industry, something has to give.
I wish more hospitality employers will become more pro active about immigration and will start calling on their representatives, supporting immigration reform.