Immigration Reform Will Procede in Senate

The Senate,this afternoon, passed a couple of procedural votes that will allow a comprehensive Immigration Reform measure to come to the floor for amendments and debate. The bill, S. 744, will likely be the main, if not only, bill that is debated on the Senate floor for the next three weeks. The bill very likely could see a vote on final passage by the Fourth of July. Senator Rubio has expressed a desire to be done with the bill by the July 4 recess.

There are several in the Senate that have deep seeded feelings on both sides. This is likely to be a very passionate debate. Most Democrats are lining up in favor of the bill and Republicans seem quite split on the masure. The bill has been crafted by a bi-partisan Continue reading

Immigration Reform Update

As you may have read, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed S. 744 The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act last week. The markup on the bill took several weeks and doubled the size of the bill. It went from about 844 pages when it went into committee and 1922 when it was passed out. With over 300 amendments offered only about ½ were voted on and many fewer passed.

In a recent interview the leader of the Gang of Eight, Marco Rubio, said that the bill still needs some work on the floor. He said that the American people want even tougher border security before any of the adjustment of status provisions will kick in. With his support, it is quite possible that it will get added. This is a potential hang up for the more liberal members in the Senate and the fiscal hawks are unhappy about the expected price tag. The CBO is currently in the process of scoring the bill but with the border fencing, Continue reading

Busy Week In Washington

Boy… this has been a busy week in Washington. Looks like several of these ahead.

On Tuesday, the Senate Ag Committee marked up and then passed their version of the Farm Bill. The bill has left STAX pretty well unscathed through the committee process. This is good news but if debate in the committee is any indication, some damaging amendments could be offered during the floor debate.

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Immigration Plan Details Leaking Out

As discussed yesterday, a new immigration bill was expected to be unveiled today. With the tragedy that unfolded yesterday in Boston, the official release of the new Senate immigration reform legislation won’t happen until later in the week, but we know some more of the details of the proposal thanks to information provided to the Wall Street Journal and Associated Press Reporters.

The bill is to be titled the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. It will have provisions for border security, a path to citizenship for those already here, and reforms for both the high and low skilled workers visa programs.

As the name implies, the first goal outlined in the bill will be border security. That is defined as 100% surveillance of the border and 90% of crossing attempts turned away or Continue reading

Last Hurdle on Immigration Reform Crossed….Maybe

Several reports came out over the weekend that a compromise had been reached on the last hurdle standing in the way of introduction of comprehensive immigration reform. Agriculture had been one of the major stumbling blocks in the development of the Senate’s  bi-partisan group of eight proposal which is expected to be unveiled on Tuesday this week.

Several rumors are bouncing around right now but they all have similar themes if not exact details. What is consistent is that there are provisions for the workers here already working in agriculture illegally, there will be a new program to replace the broken H2A program and Continue reading

Immigration Proposal Coming Soon

Senator Marco Rubio will do the unprecedented this weekend and make SEVEN of the Sunday political talk shows. ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN, Telemundo and Univision. He apparently will be laying the groundwork for a yet to be announced proposal on comprehensive immigration reform.

The Gang of Eight, as it has become known, is apparently close to announcing the package that has only been a framework thus far. Rumors lately have revolved around the last piece of the package being agriculture. At this point I’m not entirely sure what the controversy is over ag but at one point, earlier this year, it appeared that ag was the only part of immigration reform that had any chance. I’ve written several times that we may get another shot at immigration reform and its looking better that it will at least get a chance.

Even though this is a bi-partisan group, any immigration proposal will surely be divisive in Continue reading