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What is the Restaurant Industry Without Immigrants?

A large percentage of the hospitality industry's workforce consists of foreign-born employees. All immigrant workers have rights, and that even includes undocumented workers.

Immigration attorney, Kevin L. Dixler, based in Chicago, IL, talks about undocumented worker rights and current laws. To talk to him about these issues as well as other immigration issues, such as visa denials, you can reach attorney Kevin Dixler at (888)634-7623.

Video Transcript:

I'm Rob Rosenthal and this is Ask The Lawyers. The restaurant industry is a critical part of a healthy economy across the United States. In Illinois, for example, the restaurant industry is the state's largest private sector employer and accounts for more than $25 Billion in annual sales. A large part of that industry is reliant on the foreign-born individuals who work within it. Immigrants have been the backbone of the hospitality industry in America for more than a century and are still very important to the success of restaurants. Yet Congress makes it extremely difficult for these businesses to survive without violating extremely restrictive immigration laws. Congress also complicates matters for individuals already working to earn the right to remain in theU.S. and to lawfully work here. This in spite of a critical worker shortage that challenges the U.S. economy in major cities. Researchers from City University New York estimate that if Congress doesn't make it easier for unauthorized workers to alter their status, the hospitality industry in Illinois alone will see its output decline by $3 Billion a year. Immigration and visa law attorney, Kevin Dixon of Chicago who has worked with the hospitality community, says, "Anyone who's ever eaten at a Chicago restaurant should understand that the entire industry is supported by immigrant workers. Immigrants deserve to be treated with respect and dignity as an essential part of our community and economy, no matter their legal status. Any worker in Chicago who is undocumented is strongly advised to have a confidential consultation with a qualified immigration attorney to review their legal options to protect themselves and their families."

The Hospitality industries need for immigrant workers continues to grow. The restaurant industry itself reports that it plans to add jobs at a higher rate than the US born workforce can expand. Without immigrant workers to fill those jobs, your favorite restaurant meal will be served slower and get more expensive unless Congress loosens extreme restrictions within the Immigration and Nationality code. For more information about immigration law visit


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