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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

Will E-Verify Be Sunk By Repulicans?

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When I watched yesterday's markup hearing for Lamar Smith's E-Verify bill, most members of the Immigration Subcommittee spoke according to script - except one. California conservative Republican Congressman Dan Lungren gave a very pragmatic assessment of where the GOP is going. Passing E-Verify would be a national disaster for the agriculture sector and the agricultural workers bill proposed by Congressman Smith to help allay fears is not going to be enough.

From Huffington Post:

At a Thursday markup of the bill, which would mandate the use of an electronic screening system called E-Verify, one Republican Judiciary Committee member worried aloud that it would hurt agriculture businesses and drive workers underground. Democrats, who by and large oppose the bill, have been airing the same complaints for months, and are now forming an unlikely coalition with conservatives and Tea Partiers who oppose parts of the bill.

"I just can't abide with what we're doing to my state in terms of the temporary need for temporary workers," Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) said. "It would devastate agriculture. ... If we do not recognize the demonstrated need for foreign workers, and I'm talking about temporary foreign workers in the agriculture field, we're kidding ourselves."

Tea Party groups, including Take Back Washington, Tea Party Nation and Liberty Coalition, bought a full-page ad in Politico on Thursday criticizing the mandatory E-Verify bill. They also sent an open letter to members of Congress asking them to oppose the bill to avoid disastrous consequences for American citizens.

"Punishing businesses and telling citizens they can't work is no way to stop illegal immigration...or fix the economy," the ad reads.

It's definitely too early to say if we're reaching a turning point on the politics of immigration reform, but when enough of the GOP starts thinking along these lines, we might be able to craft a compromise.

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  1. Another Voice's Avatar
    I bet the Repuks are shocked that the tea baggers went against them on this one....I wonder if this is the beginning of the divorce or the weakening of one of the 2 groups within the Republican party.
  2. George Chell's Avatar
    If tea baggers are against it, the bill will go nowhere. As far as compromise is concerned, forget it as well. Now, the tea baggers will pass the Romney proposal if the majority of the skilled migrants happen to be white. Since this is not the case, people such as Michelle Bachmann and Rene Ellmers, not to speak of Marsha Blackburn will oppose it. In Australia, after the Pauline Hanson fiasco, the country changed its emphasis from family reunification to skilled immigration (which they thought will favor white English migrants). What happened was even more Asians, particularly Indians started moving in. Now Australia's Asian immigrant intake had doubled from before and the bigots who pushed for skilled migrants thinking that it will bring in more white people are not very happy. It quadrupled the number of Indians and Sri Lankan migrants in Australia. Hence, the violence against these groups in that country.
  3. Another Voice's Avatar
    The problem with the Rommney proposal is that you have people like Steven King saying that we need to stop legal immigration too because there are millions of immigrants waiting to come in legally and with this economy that needs to stop. is time to come to the realization that the current politicians on both parties are no friend of the immigrants, the will continue t play political football on the issue and punting anytime that action maybe possible. It is what it is..... My sense is that unless business that gives donations to politicians specially republicans but yet allow the bashing of the immigrants legal or illegal and the Latino vote and other fiends of the immigrant community manage better their support to politicians of both parties to get something done, politicians have no reason to act any different. Lobby groups with influence seem to get things done in DC maybe the Pro-Immigration folks need to do a better job at lobbing politicians...
  4. George Chell's Avatar
    Steve King wants to take America to depression days along with the CIS and FAIR...they all belong to one group...called RACISTS!
  5. US Visa Extension's Avatar
    Georgia is among the states to institute an E-Verify law, which recently created a snafu for an Atlanta airport project. Because many applicants for vendor spots at Hartsfield International Airport didn't fill out their E-Verify forms completely or correctly, all proposals will be scrapped and the application process started over.
  6. George Chell's Avatar
    Tea partiers are for E-Verify as long as they verify only those considered "foreigners", ie., Hispanics and Asians and yes, people of Arab or South Asian origin. One American tea partier supporting the recent detention of two men of Indian origin at the Detroit Airport showed his American ignorance by saying "how the hell can we differentiate between a South East Asian and a middle easterner? Better safe than sorry!" If the Smith bill forces only Hispanics and Asians and those of Middle Eastern Origin to fill out E-veriry forms the tea partiers will get behind it. They dont want to profile people who look like them. Of course they would like to profile African Americans as well. But, they are afraid of Jackson and Sharpton showing up...and of course, they can always railroad African Americans and execute some of those folks whose guilt is in doubt, as Nathan Deal is trying to do this week in Georgia!
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