The United Food & Commercial Workers International Union and the Food Manufacturers Immigration Coalition, including the National Chicken Council , announced their partnership on comprehensive immigration reform in a letter sent to the Senate "Gang of Eight," praising them for their efforts on the U.S. Senate immigration bill.

The labor-business coalition is also seeking improvements to the Senate bill in the areas of visa allocation and employment verification.

"We write in support of the comprehensive immigration reform process and thank you for your critical and constructive efforts in support of this legislation," says the letter signed by United Food & Commercial Workers International President Joe Hansen and Barry Carpenter of Food Manufacturers Immigration Coalition.

The labor-business coalition said they support the Senate bill's provisions to establish a roadmap to citizenship, protect family based immigration, promote smart, effective border enforcement, implement a workable, transparent employment verification system, and create an occupational visa for non-seasonal, permanent positions. However, Hansen and Carpenter are also calling for commonsense improvements to Senate Bill 744 in the areas of visa allocation and employment verification.

The labor-business coalition asked for more flexibility when it comes to employment verification. "Allowing employers to use Self-Check in a uniform, nondiscriminatory fashion will create greater transparency for new employees, and will enable employers to ensure that their new hires are not circumventing E-Verify," the letter reads.


Moreover, the letter outlined: "If an employer takes the extra step of deterring identity theft through the uniform use of Self-Check, then the employer should be presumed to have acted in 'good faith' with respect to the E-Verify confirmations it receives."

Finally, the labor-business coalition requested that Senators direct the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Justice to create regulations that would provide specific rules of the road "describing a course of conduct…that satisfies employment verification requirements and concurrently avoids anti-discrimination liability." "If an employer follows these regulations, then the employer is presumed to have complied with both the verification and anti-discrimination rules," the letter reads.

The labor-business coalition said they look forward to working with the Senate to improve the bill and seeing comprehensive immigration reform become the law of the land.

An example of the full letter can be viewed online .