Owners of eateries in Westfield, Garwood and Cranford said during a press conference Tuesday that outdated immigration laws
negatively impact local economies.
“I’ve helped get my employees through the process to become
citizens,” said Frank Vasfailo, owner of The Brick Oven restaurant in Westfield. “It’s tough and it’s expensive. It
should be easier. People are already here working — let them do it legally.”
The restaurateurs said at the press conference, held at il
Giardino Pizza in Cranford, that immigrant workers play a critical role in the
state’s restaurant industry, accounting for high turnover as workers move from
job to job.
A clearer path to citizenship would not only bring immigrants into the tax-paying pool but also help ensure fairer pay and working conditions. They argued that the proposed E-Verify bill and increased border security would only further complicate the process and make it more difficult for small businesses to hire qualified workers.