Delta takes stand for immigration reform

Delta Airlines isn’t too afraid to wade into a political issue despite the risk it will alienate many of its customers.

After President Obama announced his executive order on immigration last week, the airline issued this statement:

“Delta Air Lines applauds the steps announced this week to enact much-needed reforms to the nation’s immigration system,” said Joanne Smith, Delta’s Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer.

“The President’s actions will provide economic development opportunities and enhance public safety by streamlining legal immigration while cracking down on illegal immigration at the border and focusing on deporting felons rather than families.”

“Why did you issue that statement? It’s controversial,” a CBS morning show anchor asked Delta boss Richard Anderson today.

“If you’ve seen some of the email I’ve gotten,” Anderson replied, “you’d wonder why I issued the statement.”

So, why?

“Because this problem needs to be solved,” he said.

“We’re an airline, next year we hope to carry 175 million people, we have people all over the world and having immigration reform to allow people the freedom to move over the border is important,” he said. “Our country needs to reflect the diversity and values of people all over the world.”

It’s a point that could come with a cost.

Or not.