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Immigration overhaul 'top priority' for US

Haitian workers wait at the northern border crossing with the Dominican Republic in the town of Ouanaminthe, Haiti, on Tuesday. Roughly 2,000 undocumented Haitian workers who returned to their homeland for the holidays were being prevented from re-entering the Dominican Republic at this major border crossing because they did not have passports or permits, Dominican Immigration Director José Ricardo Taveras said. AP

THE PRESIDENT of a leading US business group says it is joining forces with labour, faith organisations, law enforcement and ethnic groups to push for comprehensive immigration reform.

Tom Donohue, head of the US Chamber of Commerce, said in a speech yesterday (Jan 11) that the "door to the American dream must always remain open".

He says legislation must include a path to citizenship for the nation's 11 million undocumented immigrants, border security and expansion of green cards for foreign nationals with advanced degrees, among other steps.

Donohue says he's spoken to lawmakers in Congress as well as to Richard Trumka, president of the largest labour federation. He says the chamber hopes to build a large coalition to take advantage of the growing imperative to tackle the issue.

Donohue's comments came as he detailed the chamber's priorities this year.

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