Retailers, restaurants and hotels team up to push immigration reform

By Chris Tomlinson, ASSOCIATED PRESS Updated: Monday, March 31, 2014, 8:02 am Published: Monday, March 31, 2014, 6:36 am

Texas Capitol (Josh Hinkle/KXAN)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Top business associations representing Texas retailers, restaurants and hotels are forming a coalition to press for immigration reform.

The trade groups are scheduled to launch the coordinated effort Monday morning at the state Capitol.

Members include the Texas Restaurant Association, Texas Association of Retailers, Texas Hotel and Lodging Association and the South Texas Property Rights Association.

They will join the Partnership for a New Economy, which is a national, non-partisan group lobbying to streamline the national immigration system. The group includes industries that have a hard time finding low-skilled workers.

Immigration is one of the most important issues to Republican voters in Texas, and Republican candidates have taken a hard line against illegal immigration. They also oppose programs to grant a path to citizenship to immigrants in the country illegally.