TUSCON, AZ – Twelve Arizona business leaders, representing some of the state’s leading companies from a range of industries, joined the Partnership for a New American Economy, a bipartisan group of business leaders and mayors making the economic case for sensible immigration reform. The coalition, which was formed by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, includes as Co-Chairs News Corporation Chairman, CEO and Founder Rupert Murdoch and Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon. The Partnership has over 125 members, including CEOs from industries such as technology, hospitality, entertainment, manufacturing, and finance, and mayors from some of the largest cities across the country. The new Arizona members include CEOs from US Airways and PetSmart, as well as from one of the nation’s largest beverage distributors, Arizona’s largest health care provider, and one of Arizona’s largest construction companies. The new Arizona members lead companies that employ a combined 145,000 people and generate over $50 billion in annual revenue.
“The Arizona companies joining our effort are proof that in all quarters of the country and in all sectors of the economy there is demand for a smarter, more sensible immigration strategy,” said Partnership Co-Chair Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “We need reform that will both secure our borders and do more to attract and keep the workers necessary for American businesses to compete in the 21st century.”
“I’m glad that Arizona business leaders have joined our national effort to find real solutions to our immigration issues. We need a solution that secures our borders, secures our economic recovery, and enhances our competitiveness,” said Partnership Co-Chair Mayor Phil Gordon. “I couldn't be more proud to stand beside Greater Phoenix Leadership and this 'who's who' of our business community.”
“America became the world’s leading economic power because this country welcomed immigrants and offered them opportunities that they could find nowhere else,” said Partnership Co-Chair Rupert Murdoch. “We appreciate that business leaders of Arizona are prepared to join our effort to restore market-driven immigration policies in order to sustain America’s status as a magnet for the world’s most talented and hard-working people.”
“The fact is that immigrants play an integral role in the American economy,” said Phil Francis, Executive Chairman of Petsmart and Chairman of Greater Phoenix Leadership. “Now is the time for reasonable reform that protects our borders and preserves our ability to compete in the global economy.”
The new members of the Partnership for a New American Economy are:
Roy Vallee, Chairman and CEO of Avnet, Inc., one of the nations’ leading electronic components distributors.
Peter Fine, President and CEO of Banner Health, Arizona’s largest health care provider.
Drew Brown, Managing Partner of DMB Associates, Inc., one of Arizona’s leading diversified real estate companies.
Robert Delgado, President and CEO of Hensley Beverage Company, one of the largest beverage distributors in the nation.
Philip Francis, Executive Chairman of PetSmart Inc., the nation’s leading specialty retailer of pet food and supplies.
Don Brandt, Chairman, President and CEO of Pinnacle West Capital Corp, the leading Arizona provider of energy and energy-related products.
Sharon Harper, President and CEO of Plaza Companies, one of Arizona’s oldest and largest full-service real estate companies.
Jim O'Connor, Chairman and CEO of Republic Services, one of the nations’s leading providers of solid waste collection, transfer and disposal services.
Doug Pruitt, Chairman and CEO of Sundt Construction Inc., one of Arizona’s largest construction companies.
Doug Parker, Chairman, President and CEO of US Airways, one of the largest airlines in the country.
Lee Hanley, Chairman and CEO of Vestar, one of Arizona’s leading privately held real estate companies.
Paul Dykstra, Chairman, President and CEO of Viad Corp, one of Arizona’s leading holding companies in marketing, events, travel and recreation.
Facts about the role of immigrants in the economy:
· 25 percent of America’s high-tech startups had an immigrant founder from 1995-2005, generating over 400,000 jobs and an estimated $52 billion in annual sales.
· 25 percent of America’s international patents were based on the work of immigrants.
· Visas for lower-skilled workers are used in all 50 states when companies can’t otherwise fill labor-intensive and seasonal jobs. Without these temporary workers, one-third of these companies would reduce or close operations.
· From 1990 to 2006, the metropolitan areas with the biggest increase in immigrant workers were the cities with the fastest economic growth.
About the Partnership:
The Partnership for a New American Economy (www.RenewOurEconomy.org) brings together a bipartisan group of over 125 business leaders from all sectors of the economy and mayors from all parts of the country to make the economic case for immigration reform. The Partnership believes that to compete in the 21st-century global economy, America needs an immigration system that secures our borders and attracts and keeps the best, brightest and hardest working from around the world. Among steps Congress can quickly take are:
· Providing green cards for foreign-born university graduates with advanced degrees to stay and work for American companies;
· Increasing temporary work programs and green cards for essential workers in all sectors of the economy; and
· Improving and creating new visa programs that encourage investment and entrepreneurship.
The Partnership’s Co-Chairs are Steven A. Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft Corporation; Robert Iger, President and CEO, Walt Disney Co.; J.W. Marriott, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Marriott International, Inc.; Jim McNerney, Chairman, President and CEO of Boeing; Rupert Murdoch, Chairman, CEO and Founder of News Corporation; Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York; Mayor Julián Castro of San Antonio; Mayor Phil Gordon of Phoenix; Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia; and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles.