The California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) applauded the effort of a bipartisan group of senators who recently issued a set of principles for a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s immigration system.

“It’s refreshing to see our leaders in Washington talking to one another on this issue, rather than at one another,” said Frank Niccoli, CLCA’s president and the chief executive officer of The Village Gardener Inc., San Carlos.

“We understand that this is just a framework and that the devil is in the details, maybe a lot of devils in more details than we may want to contemplate right now, but this does seem like a balanced proposal that sincerely addresses the many concerns,” said Niccoli.

The framework, which eight senators released on Monday, contains four “basic legislative pillars”:

Create a tough but fair path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants currently living in the United States that is contingent upon securing our borders and tracking whether legal immigrants have left the country when required;
Reform our legal immigration system to better recognize the importance of characteristics that will help build the American economy and strengthen American families;
Create an effective employment verification system that will prevent identify theft and end the hiring of future unauthorized workers; and
Establish an improved process for admitting future workers to serve our nation’s workforce needs, while simultaneously protecting all workers.

“As employers of scarce construction and landscape maintenance workers, especially when economic times are good, CLCA members especially appreciate the framework’s recognition that the future flow of workers into this country is an essential component of reform,” said Niccoli. “If we don’t take into account the enormous pressure in future years to match vacant positions with willing workers, everyone will be back at the table in 10 or 20 years saying the system is once again broken. The framework’s other pillars, no matter how strong, would collapse under such pressure.”