The summit aimed to rally Houston business owners behind the effort to push for federal immigration reform, as well as to resist state-level efforts to adopt stricter immigration enforcement laws along the lines of the Sanctuary Cities bill blocked in the state legislature last month.
Democratic State Representative Armando Walle credited Republican business leaders with helping to block the bill.
“You had a certain homebuilder and you had a certain grocery store chain owner that opposed it, and that was helpful.”
Stan Marek, CEO of the Marek Family of Companies, said businesses, particularly in his own construction industry, need to halt practices that both inflame the political debate over immigration and damage the local economy.
“Many employers think nothing of hiring a labor broker, who specializes in providing workers who work for low wages, pay no taxes and work long hours with no overtime pay. You see it every day in this city. Just drive through some of our neighborhoods on a Saturday or Sunday and see people working. I’m sure they’re getting time and a half.”