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NGA, Wal-Mart Applaud Senate's Immigration Reform

ARLINGTON, Va. — Peter J. Larkin, president and chief executive officer of the National Grocers Association here, said Thursday NGA applauds passage by the U.S. Senate of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act.

"While no bill is every perfect, this legislation is an important step in the right direction [for] embracing comprehensive reform that addresses the real challenges facing our nation today while ensuring protections for employers acting in good faith."

Peter Larking, president and CEO, NGA
Peter Larkin

Larkin said he urged Congress to "do the right thing" by passing comprehensive immigration reform that encompasses the principles approved by NGA's board of directors, adding the association will work with the House of Representatives "to do just that."

In a separate release, Ivan Zapien, vice president, federal government relations, for Wal-Mart Stores, said his company also approved the Senate's action, "and [we] believe comprehensive immigration reform will have a positive impact on the economy and the customers we serve."

Read more: Ag Groups Back Senate Immigration Reform Bill

He said Wal-Mart is committed to working with policy makers, employers and consumers "to support this reform that is so desperately needed to our immigration system.  We now encourage members of the House to continue the momentum."

On Wednesday the Senate amended the immigration bill to include provisions that would double the size of the U.S. Border Patrol along the Mexican border to 40,000 officers; require the construction of 700 miles of fencing along the nation's southern border; and authorize the use of new radar and unmanned aerial drones to track illegal border crossings — all as a prerequisite for 11 million undocumented immigrants to apply for U.S. citizenship.

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