The Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the Atlanta Chapter of the French-American Chamber of Commerce came out last week against proposed restrictions on legal immigration pending in the U.S. Congress on grounds that they would be detrimental to many Georgia businesses.

 Other local and bi-national chambers are expected to formally oppose the legislation which will be considered by Congress in early September and aims at regulating the admission of foreign-born executives, managers and professionals.

In its resolution, the Atlanta chamber specifically refers to H.R. 2202, a bill pending in the House, saying that it includes “numerous provisions that would restrict or eliminate many important immigration categories critical to U.S. businesses.”

H.R. 2202 is one of several immigration bills before Congress, and it “mistakenly confuses legal immigration with illegal immigration,” according to the Atlanta chamber’s resolution.  The chamber recommends that issues of illegal and legal immigration be addressed separately in two distinct bills.

“It’s a mistake to include provisions regulating the admission of foreign-born executives, managers and professionals in legislation aimed primarily at controlling illegal immigration,” said Robert Banta, president of the French-American chamber.

He also said that if new immigration barriers were erected, American companies doing business abroad “would eventually suffer because our trading partners would restrict, on a reciprocal basis, their ability to staff those operations with key American personnel.”

Mr. Banta may be reached at Kilpatrick & Cody, (404) 815-6420; fax, (404) 815-6555.