Washington D.C. has a lot on the menu this week. A White House infomercial on ABC, a vote on Cap & Trade on Friday and today immigration reform discussions begin.
The health care and energy tax issues demand more than a few days of study. The bills themselves are hundreds of pages long and no one in the House or Senate has read them in their entirety.
New York Senator Chuck Schumer, D-NY, Chairman of the Immigration subcommittee said “When the President asks me if congress can pass comprehensive immigration reform, I will smile and say ‘yes we can.’”
Proponents say this is straight out of a stump speech and that the issue would most likely stay on the back burner.
“Whether it’s taking over our health care or a national energy tax, somebody is going to suggest we do immigration reform,” said John Boehner, R-OH house minority leader. “How much is enough?”
The Senate leader, Harry Reid, D-NV said, “We are busy with health care and energy right now.”
However, the White House is hosting a meeting with congressional leaders to begin the lawmaking-side of immigration.
A pro-reform group, Reform Immigration for America said, “Our immigration system is hurting our economy, American families and all American workers think comprehensive immigration reform is the solution.”
They continue to say that the President supports reform, but only congress has the power to act. That comes as good news to Congressman Brian Bilbray, R-Calif. and leader of the Immigration Reform Caucus. “The White House has left us out so far.”
The Reform Immigration for America group claims if you legalize the workers here it will benefit all workers by allowing those undocumented workers the ability to join unions and increase wages and rights for all.
Those on the other side believe this would glut the employment market which is already ebbing toward the double-digit mark nationally and well-passed in some states.
A program popular with many employers continues to grow, E-Verify. The Department of Homeland Security notes the program has verified 5.5 million workers so far this year, approximately 200,000 per week.
These numbers are on par to double last years’ employee checks. Leaving the question, why has President Obama postponed the successful program until September 8th of this year?
Advocates say this Social Security number verification system is the first step to positive immigration crack downs. Plus E-Verify is cost effective and user friendly.
Bilbray put it simply, “It works!”