U.S. Immigration Reform Falls Flat

By Tami Faram

Earlier this week the United States Senate ramped up its discussions on passing immigration reforms, but as of today that bill is dead. Members of the Senate today voted against moving the bill ahead for a vote, which was suppose to occur by week's end. The Senate was just 14 votes shy of the 60 needed to end their debate on the immigration reforms.

Some glass companies, especially those located in bordering states like California, Florida and Texas have large immigration workforces. John Davis, vice president of Canyon Glass in El Paso, Texas, says his current workforce is more than 80 percent Mexican immigrant. He thinks reforming immigration would have improved life for his glass workers.

"I think it [immigration reform] would help the industry," David says. "The quality of work we have is fine, but the only bad thing is that we have a high turnover rate. The guys [immigrant workers] who are married, or have families, usually stay with us longer."

Canyon Glass has been in business for 18 years, but Davis' father started the original commercial glass company in El Paso more than 40 years ago.

"My father says it's not the same as it used to be 20 or 30 years ago, Davis says. "Everyone hired immigrant workers, the difference is that they used to cross the border from Juarez, [Mexico], do their work and then go back home to Mexico. But now more and more immigrant workers are bringing their families across to stay."

He adds that his company is encouraging each of their workers to learn English so that they can better communicate while on the job.

Tami Faram is assistant editor for USGNN.com™/USGlass magazine.

CLICK HERE to see related story in the September 2006 issue of USGlass, "Sweatin' It Out."