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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy


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Last week, White House adviser David Axelrod noted that immigration reform would not happen in the near term unless there was bipartisan support. That's really always been the case, but the comment seems consistent with something said this week by Senate Democratic leaders (as noted in an email alert sent by America's Voice today):

During a news conference held by Senate Democratic leaders yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) both made clear their unequivocal support for comprehensive immigration reform and outlined their efforts to move forward with a legislative solution this year. Sen. Reid (D-NV) disagreed with critiques that the State of the Union remarks dimmed the prospects for immigration reform, saying, "The President, I don't think, dropped the ball. He talked about immigration reform last night. He has spoken with us about immigration reform. It is something we need to do... It is something we're committed to do. And we'll do it as soon as we can." Said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who is leading efforts to develop reform legislation: "We are making good progress." He noted the bi-partisan nature of his approach, saying, "I've said all along, even before last Tuesday with the Massachusetts election, that we have to have this bill be a bipartisan bill, two Democrats, two Republicans to introduce it. We're not there yet. We're still working on getting our Republicans. But we're talking to people . . . who have a lot of interest and enthusiasm. And our intention is to move forward."

A number of pro-immigration advocates have assumed that at least a few Republicans will support immigration reform simply because they have in the past. But Schumer's words should be a warning. Pro-immigration Republicans tend to be pro-business immigration. Those in the pro-immigration camp who think you can torpedo a guest worker program, slap protectionist measures targeting legitimate H-1B employers, and otherwise ignore the needs of America's businesses (I'm talking about you, labor unions) will hopefully read this as a reality check and start to clamp down on the impulses to legalize illegally present immigrants only and forget about the future flow needs or the massive problems with legal immigration (as frequently noted by readers of this blog). 

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  1. beppe's Avatar
    my suggestion to Schumer:
    Kyl and Graham for the repubblican party
    second suggestion :uphold the 10 years ban for 12 months, so the illegal immigrants who overstay the visa can go back and restart their process
    expand the H1 visa for science and mats and expand the green card number

    this bill will pass in 2 weeks
  2. Another Voice's Avatar
    I think CIR should be that and deal with skilled as well as unskilled immigration, lawfully present immigrants caught in the broken system as well as the undocumented. But when you hear bipartisan as a condition for this to happen, given the current reality of DC, that is when this whole thing does not add up, the political equation just isn't there in my opinion, You can pick up republicans but lose some dems in the end I doubt that they have 60 votes for cloture is 2007 all over again.
  3. gg's Avatar
    Bill delayed until march as per
  4. gg's Avatar
    Sen Graham CIR must happen !!
  5. Subbu Iyer's Avatar
    I am quite chary of this Labor Commission business. It will be irreversibly politicized and every year we'll witness cat-fights within the body as it tries to set the annual immigration quota. And how on earth would it accurately compute demand? On what basis can the Commission assert that for a given year, the US needs, say 1253 dentists and zero civil engineers?!! This is patently absurd.

    Really hope Schumer doesn't encourage some shady deal between labor and business on this Commission thingy (as my seven yr old son is wont to say!). Increasingly, I suspect I'm being drawn to the viewpoint that, maybe it will be better for legal immigration if CIR gets aborted and instead gets replaced by piecemeal immigration legislation. Any comments? Thanks.
  6. Jim's Avatar
    Definitely agree with everything Sen. Graham said. Why can't there be more Republicans like him?? Realistic and practical.

    Being biometrically identified and be given a smart-chip embedded fraud-resistant ID ala e-passports is a very, very good idea as well.

  7. George Chell's Avatar
    "Definitely agree with everything Sen. Graham said. Why can't there be more Republicans like him??"

    Because racists such as DeMint, Sessions and Vitter want to convert this country into another Australia by appealing to the racist elements of our society....

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