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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

NEW HOUSE IMMIGRATION SUBCOMMITTEE NAMED

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Chair: Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
Ranking Member: Steve King (R-IA)

Democrats:

Howard Berman (D-CA)

Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX)

Maxine Waters (D-TX)

Pedro Pierluisi (D-Puerto Rico)

Luis Gutierrez (D-IL)

Linda Sanchez (D-CA)

Anthony Weiner (D-NY)

Charles Gonzalez (D-TX)

Bill Delahunt (D-MA)

Republicans:


Gregg Harper (R-MS)

Elton Gallegly (R-CA)

Dan Lungren (R-CA)

Ted Poe (R-TX)

Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)

A few observations. First, we're going to be keeping Congresswoman Lofgren as chair and that should be seen as good news. Lofgren has gained a reputation as someone who can work with Republicans and that's likely why she got the Ethics Committee chair as well as the Immigration Subcommittee.

The Democrats bigger majority has translated into a new seat for them and one less seat for the Republicans. Charles Gonzalez and Pedro Pierluisi are new members of the committee on for the majority party.

The Republicans, aside from only having six members of the committee compared to ten for the Democrats, have several new faces.

Jason Chaffetz replaces Chris Cannon, previously the sole pro-immigration member on the Republican side. Chaffetz beat Cannon in the Republican primary for his Utah seat largely on an anti-immigration platform. Also new are Ted Poe of Texas and Gregg Harper of Mississippi who, like Chaffetz, are also freshmen. Gone are Louie Gohmert of Texas, Bob Goodlatte of Virginia and Randy Forbes of Virginia.

Unless Poe and Harper surprise us, it is fair to say that the Republicans on the Committee are now 100% anti-immigration, something that will surely upset moderate members of the GOP who now realize that their party will be in a permanent, shrinking majority as they further alienate Hispanic voters. Of course, with only six out of sixteen votes, they can make noise, but can't really do much to stop the Democrats if their counterparts are relatively united on an issue. And that may be very important this year.

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Comments

  1. George Chell's Avatar
    With the composition of the GOP team, it is absolutely imperative that the Obama plan leads to economic recovery at least by the beginning of next year to keep House losses during the midterm elections to a minimum. On the Senate side, the governor of Colorado monkeying around with the replacement of Salazaar is absolutely of no help and may provide an opening for a GOP demagogue such as Tom Tancredo if not Tancredo himself. We should not rest on our laurels.
  2. Sid's Avatar
    I'm really glad that Lofgren continues to be the Chair. She's one of the strongest proponents of EB immigration in the Congress. I'm unsure about Sheila Jackson-Lee & Luis Gutierrez. I know that they supported the recapture bill last year but that included recapture for both EB and FB categories. The recent bill that was introduced by Jackson-Lee does not seem to address any EB issues. Whether that is deliberate or done in expectation that Lofgren will introduce the bills is not clear. Bob Goodlatte was also a strong supporter of EB. He seemed to be very knowledgeable about all the issues. I dislike Steve King. His only concern is to keep the overall immigration numbers low. The only good proposal he has is the removal of the diversity category. Jackson-Lee wants to double it to 110K.
  3. George Chell's Avatar
    "I dislike Steve King. His only concern is to keep the overall immigration numbers low."

    Steve "the scumbag" King is not on the committee.
  4. Joe's Avatar
    What are you talking about, Chell? Not only is Steve King on the Subcommittee, he's the ranking member.
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