Behind closed doors
Posted in the Latrobe Forum
#1 Mar 15, 2008
Many attentive people have written to me, about their downturn in finding a decent job. Illegals are no longer taking jobs picking just crops, but deversified to regular citizen jobs?
News surfaced on Monday that members of the House of Representatives — including the Majority Leadership and members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus — are working behind the scenes to draft legislation that would give illegal aliens in the U.S. a 5-year amnesty visa. The Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA), said the five-year amnesty visas would be available to illegal aliens who can "prove they have a job, pay taxes and pass a criminal background check." (Congressional Quarterly Today, February 13, 2008)
Negotiations for the five-year amnesty visas are taking place at the highest levels of House leadership. They include Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Immigration Subcommittee Chairwoman Zoë Lofgren (D-CA) and are reportedly bipartisan in nature. Many political observers see the move to grant the 12 to 14 million illegal aliens a 5-year visa as an attempt to create a two-step amnesty process—by first granting “temporary” legal status to illegal aliens and then, when political conditions are more favorable, by passing legislation that puts these aliens on a path to citizenship.
Capitol Hill newspapers also report that business interests, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are using this opportunity to try to secure an increase in H-2B visas—visas for unskilled foreign workers.(Congressional Quarterly Today, February 13, 2008) Congressman Xavier Becerra (D-CA), assistant to Speaker Pelosi, confirmed that House Leadership is attempting to find some "relief" for employers who cannot get enough foreign labor due to the numerical caps set forth by law. However, Becerra also noted that none of the proposed provisions have “crystallized one way or the other.”(Congress Daily, February 13, 2008)
Some suggest that this proposal to grant illegal aliens 5-year amnesty visas is an attempt to stop the enforcement-only SAVE Act (H.R. 4088) from reaching the House floor. According to Congressional Quarterly, if backers of the SAVE Act can successfully mount a discharge petition and bring the bill directly to the floor, Majority Leadership could respond by offering the 5-year amnesty provision as an amendment.(Congressional Quarterly Today, February 13, 2008) The likelihood of an amnesty amendment could discourage SAVE Act author Heath Shuler (D-NC) and other proponents from moving forward with the bill. And if they do move forward, they will have to fight off attempts to amend amnesty and guest worker provisions onto it. Either way, the strategy employed by House Democratic Leadership makes it much more likely that any immigration bill to pass the House will not be enforcement-only.
According to Representative Brian Bilbray (R-CA), there is no plan at present to force a vote on the SAVE Act.“My attitude is, I’ll work with Heath [Schuler] on this issue.”(Congressional Quarterly Today, February 14, 2008) Andrew Whalen, a spokesman for Representative Schuler, said last week that Schuler had heard the rumor but hoped that Democratic leaders would allow an unforced vote on the bill.(Congressional Quarterly, February 14, 2008)
#2 Mar 16, 2009
it won't happen
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