The Lamp

Where truth can be shared.

House Stalls on Immigration Reform

Posted by thelamp on July 14, 2006

Immigration reform is one of America’s most pressing issues. You’d never know it, though, from the actions of House leaders last week, who put the issue on the slow track. Despite the immediate need to solve the nation’s immigration problems, House Republicans will hold a second set of hearings in July and August – including many in field locations across the country, before negotiating a final bill with the Senate.

Last year, the House passed an immigration bill that would tighten border controls, discipline employers who hire undocumented workers and declare illegal immigrants and those who assist them to be felons. The House’s action sparked public protests across the nation. The Senate, however, responded in May with a more comprehensive approach to immigration reform that attempts to deal seriously with the 11 million immigrants who are already here and the contributions they make to the U.S. economy. President Bush favors a more comprehensive approach to immigration reform, including a guest-worker program that ultimately would allow immigrants to become U.S. citizens.

If a conference committee to resolve differences between the two bills had been named promptly after the Senate vote, it could be well on the way to creating a compromise by now. Instead, the House leadership says it won’t name conferees until after the hearings in July and August are completed. Given the difficulty in passing meaningful legislation during an election season or a lame-duck session after the Nov. 7 elections it’s worth asking if they want a bill at all.

CMC urges the House leadership to reconsider its decision and begin the hard work that always accompanies meaningful legislation, rather than grandstanding on the immigration issue until September.


What do you think?  Post your comments below.


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