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Immigration spotlight

The Gang of Eight in the Senate has been working for weeks now to craft comprehensive immigration reform legislation. The legislation is likely to be revealed next week. Over the weekend, there was apparently a significant compromise between two groups that have rarely seen eye-to-eye on the issue of immigration: Business groups and labor unions apparently struck a deal on a guest worker program, which would allow a certain amount of low-skill workers to legally work in the United States. According to Roll Call, the framework of the deal is as follows: “The number of new guest-worker visas can not be below 20,000 or above 200,000 in any year. The agreement would also require employers to pay guest workers what they typically pay regular workers doing the same job, or the prevailing wage, whichever is higher.”

At this point, we are awaiting details of what a pathway to citizenship (what some call “amnesty”) could look like in the bill for the 11 million illegal immigrants who are currently in the United States.

Another sticking point for conservatives will be border security. Senator Rand Paul has a plan to coordinate border security triggers with any progression on immigration reform. Without this step – securing the border – I think it will be extremely difficult, and frankly dumb, for Republicans to support a deal on immigration reform.

Once the bill is proposed in the Judiciary committee, there are some Democrats who would like to see it passed quickly. Why? Because they know that the longer the bill is out there for the public to see, the greater the chance that it will gain opposition for one reason or another. But let's be weary of those who do not want us to have a conversation, debate or hearings on the issue. Remember what happened the last time we passed a bill so that we could find out what's in it ...