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Florida business groups join in push for immigration reform

The Florida Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Florida joined forces with faith-based leaders Wednesday to call for national immigration reform.  

"Inaction by Congress is not a path forward," said Leticia Adams, the chamber's director of infrastructure and governance policy. "The problems with our immigration system have grown and multiplied, and have become a threat to the productivity of key industries in Florida."

The press conference Tallahassee was part of a national "day of action" that included at least 60 other events.

Taking part in the national effort: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Partnership for a New American Economy, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Association of Manufacturers, and Western Growers.

At the Tallahassee news conference, leaders in the business and education communities blasted Congress for failing to take action. 

"This issue is not going away and we run the danger of it getting worse, from a national security perspective, from an economic perspective and from a humanitarian perspective," said Rudy Fernandez, a professor at the University of Miami and former Special Assistant to President George W. Bush

Fernandez held up polling data showing that both Democrats and Republicans believe the U.S. immigration system is broken. A recent Harper poll, he said, found that 71 percent of Republicans would rather choose a presidential candidate from a party that supports immigration reform than from a party that opposes it.

A Florida media call is scheduled for 1 p.m. with Brewster Bevis, of the Associated Industries of Florida; Steve Johnson, of the Florida Farm Bureau; and Al Cardenas, the former Chairman of the American Conservative Union.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce, Florida Farm Bureau and Associated Industries of Florida are heavily funded by industries that rely on migrant and immigrant workers.