All is not quiet at the Capitol.
With a recent post, I highlighted the
Key Players and Plans in Immigration Reform. In the few days that have passed since that post, those key players have
been busy and their key plans have become somewhat clearer. Here is the
latest news on immigration reform from politicians, business and labor
groups, and yes, sadly even Donald Trump.
AFL-CIO (labor) and U.S. Chamber of Commerce (business)
Late last Friday, one of the bigger obstacles legislators had encountered
in drafting a comprehensive immigration reform bill appeared to have been
overcome as the AFL-CIO and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce finally reached an
agreement with the help of key senators.
Reports indicate that the agreement entails a new guest worker visa program, the
"W Visa," through which 20,000 visas would be issued to low-skilled
workers starting in April 2015. The visa numbers would increase in subsequent
years, but would never exceed 200,000 or drop below 20,000 yearly. For
construction jobs, only 15,000 visas would be allocated per year. A further
breakdown of four key points can be found
The Gang of 8: bipartisan group of senators
The business and labor agreement seems to have given a boost to comprehensive
immigration reform's momentum, as Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) indicated
over the weekend that a "substantive agreement" has been reached among the Gang of 8 on the major parts of an immigration
bill. While Senator Schumer said that nothing was finalized yet, Senator
Lindsey Graham (R-SC) echoed his optimism by declaring that he anticipates
the plan's details will be revealed next week.
Despite the claims from Senators Schumer and Graham, Senator Marco Rubio
(R-FL) poured some cold water on the immigration reform momentum when he
stated Sunday morning that although he is "encouraged" by recent developments in immigration
reform negotiations, reports that the Gang of 8 has reached an agreement
on a reform bill are "premature."
The Secretive 8: bipartisan group of representatives
Reports yesterday indicated that the bipartisan group of representatives working
on immigration reform legislation anticipates that it could reveal its
immigration plan as early as next week. While the House members have been
less public than the senators with their immigration reform bill, it appears
that it will include
three paths to lawful status in contrast to the senators’ proposed single pathway.
Opposition to comprehensive immigration reform
Although progress on immigration reform has dominated news outlets, immigration
reform detractors are still making headlines. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL),
a longtime opponent of immigration reform whose efforts helped defeat
reform legislation in 2007, is
continuing in his fight against immigration reform in 2013.
Not a key player.
And in case anyone out there actually cared about what Donald Trump has
to say about comprehensive immigration reform,
here you, yes all one of you, go. While money apparently buys you airtime to
talk about immigration reform, it doesn't get you the knowledge necessary
to speak on the issue intelligently.