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Rupert Murdoch: 'Immigration reform can't wait'

Murdoch, originally from Australia, became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1985.
By Aileen Graef Follow @AileenGraef Contact the Author   |   June 19, 2014 at 3:28 PM
NEW YORK, June 19 (UPI) -- News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch called for Congress to take action and pass comprehensive immigration reform, stressing its benefits to the economy.

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Murdoch lamented House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's, R-Va., primary loss and said he fears it will delay Congress' movement on immigration.

"People are looking for leadership -- those who stand for something and offer a vision for how to take America forward and keep our nation economically competitive. One of the most immediate ways to revitalize our economy is by passing immigration reform," he wrote.

Murdoch, originally from Australia, became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1985. He wrote that he came to this country because he wanted to be a citizen of the "most free and entrepreneurial nation in the world."

"It is complicated even more by the fear some Americans have, quite naturally, of how changing populations might also change our culture, communities and economic circumstances," said Murdoch. "Well, of course immigration means change. Immigrants enrich our culture and add to our economic prosperity."

Some politicians said they believe thatpassing immigration reform will be a burden on the economy because immigrants will not contribute to the workforce or they will take away American jobs. Murdoch rejects this claim.

"I don't believe that people come to America to sit on their hands. The vast majority of America's immigrants are hardworking, family-minded individuals with strong values. They are drawn here from many different places by a common belief that this is still the land of opportunity for those willing to work hard.

We need to give those individuals who are already here -- after they have passed checks to ensure they are not dangerous criminals -- a path to citizenship so they can pay their full taxes, be counted, and become more productive members of our community."

Murdoch called for an end to H-1B visas, which he said hinders economic development and makes companies struggle to find high-skilled workers.

Members from both the Republican and Democratic parties have stressed the need for immigration reform. Murdoch finished his piece saying, "Democratic societies don't advance when our elected officials act like seat-warmers."

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