Chamber CEO Calls for Amnesty for Illegal Aliens Who ‘Meet Reasonable Conditions’

By Penny Starr | January 10, 2013 | 4:44 PM EST

Protesters in Phoenix denounce Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's executive order to deny driver's licenses and other public benefits to young illegal immigrants who obtain work authorizations under a new Obama administration policy (Tom Tingle/The Arizona Republic/AP Photo)

( – Without providing details for what he called “reasonable conditions,” the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said on Thursday that immigration reform should include a “path out of the shadows” for the estimated 11 million illegal aliens in the United States.

“We need to provide a path out of the shadows for 11 million undocumented immigrants who live in the United States today – provided that they meet reasonable conditions,” Tom Donohue, president and CEO said at the annual State of American Business in Washington, D.C.

Immigration was one of the touchstones of Donohue’s assessment of American business at the start of a new year and the second term of President Barack Obama.

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“The Chamber is already teaming up with labor unions, faith organizations and ethnic groups, and law enforcement to build a coalition for comprehensive reform,” Donohue said.

Donohue said the securing the border, a guest worker program to attract the best and brightest from around the world and developing programs to track workers should be a part of the reform.

“We also need a workable, reliable national employee verification system,” Donohue said, adding that the reform should include a way to allow people who are in the country illegally to stay.

“As we have this important debate, let’s remember who we are and where our families would be today if earlier generations of Americans had decided to slam the door shut,” Donohue said. “The door to the American dream must always remain open.”

Donohue also called for increasing the production of the nation’s oil, natural gas and coal resources, entitlement reform, regulation reform and expanding global trade and investment opportunities.

Donohue also said the business advocacy and lobby organization will continue its mission to educate citizens, lawmakers and leaders.

“We will intensify our efforts to educate and explain the working and principles of American free enterprise to citizens and government leaders – including the fundamental values of risk, profit, individual initiative, and limited government,” Donohue said. “These values benefit all in a free society.”

As reported last year, at the State of American Business event in 2012, Donohue called for illegals to be made “official” so they could continue to work inside the United States.

“We’re saying make them official so there’s a way they can continue to work here while they wait in line to get the necessary documentation. But they need to have identification so we know who they are and what they do,” he said at the time.