Business, Labor Lobby Clash on Immigration Bill
“The Senate’s ‘Gang of Eight’ is preparing to leave town with a deal on immigration reform in limbo, stalled by a fight between Big Labor and Big Business. On Thursday morning, it had appeared that a deal was in hand over the major remaining sticking point: the outlines of a broad new visa program aimed at balancing the need for foreign workers in low-skilled jobs with the desires of American workers competing for those same jobs,” Politico reports. “In a closed-door session that stretched late into Thursday night, things got heated. Sources said negotiations grew extremely tense after business groups balked. There were more talks on Friday — but no more progress, even though negotiations continued in a rare Friday night session of the Senate.”
Reps. Say “Reformed” E-Verify System to Be Part of Deal
“The bipartisan group of congressmen in the House, who are part of the “secret” group of eight, are expected to present their proposal for comprehensive immigration reform one to two weeks after April 9, when they return from Passover and Easter recess,” the Christian Post reports.
“Carter confirmed earlier this month that E-Verify is expected to be an integral part of immigration reform, and he told CP on Wednesday that ‘any changes will have to be implemented over a three-year period’ because we ‘need an E-Verify system that serves everybody,’ including owners of small businesses, whom he says ‘will not be disadvantaged’ by a reformed E-Verify system, and it will be ‘an advantage to them.'”
Editorial: Better E-Verify Key to Deal
“A bipartisan group of U.S. senators — the so-called Gang of Eight — is reportedly close to a draft on comprehensive immigration reform. Although the path to citizenship and border security have taken the lion’s share of attention, there’s another component of the bill that is equally critical to its success,” say the Star-Ledger editors.
“That component is E-Verify, a federal electronic system that uses Social Security numbers and other data that businesses can use to confirm a job applicant is legal to work in the U.S. Right now, it’s a voluntary system for most businesses, but required for federal contractors. Arizona and Mississippi require it for most employers. Some businesses have complained that E-Verify is inaccurate. The senate group is considering ways to enhance it, reportedly by allowing employers to use photographs to identify job applicants and enabling workers to answer security questions to prove their legal work status. Meaningful sanctions against employers who violate the law must also be part of the mix.”
Senate Rejects Amendment to Prevent ObamaCare Coverage to Amnestied Aliens
“The Senate voted down an amendment that would have prevented illegal aliens from receiving taxpayer-funded health care if they are granted legal status in an immigration reform package. The 43-56 vote — taken during the Senate’s so-called budget vote-o-rama Friday and the early hours of Saturday — split along party lines the “gang of eight” senators currently working on an immigration reform package,” the Daily Caller says.
ICE Union Says “No Confidence” That Law Will Be Enforced After Amnesty
“The head of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent union says that he has no confidence that the Obama administration would step up its border control efforts as part of any immigration reform agreement,” the Daily Caller reports.
“Chris Crane, ICE officer and National ICE Council president representing 7,000 ICE agents, officers, and employees, expressed concern in a statement issued Friday that the ‘the immigration bill being crafted behind closed doors’ by the bipartisan ‘Gang of Eight’ senators ‘will be rushed to passage without proper public consideration and proper input from the law enforcement community.'”
Amnesty Proposals Ring Familiar For Those Who Remember 1986
“Today, that 1986 [amnesty]law is widely regarded as a missed opportunity and, at worst, a well intentioned failure. For many, it stands as a blueprint of mistakes to be avoided as another president and yet another Congress prepare to take on the still-vexing issue of illegal immigration,” the Knox News Sentinel says.
“What we learned is amnesty is forever and the promises of enforcement, they probably don’t last longer than the president’s signature takes to dry on the paper,” said Ira Mehlman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which advocates measures to stop illegal immigration.
New Report Slams DHS for Actions During Fast and Furious
“Top House lawmakers criticized a division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Friday for its role in the failed gun tracking operation “Fast and Furious,” after a new report detailed the agency’s involvement,” The Hill reports.
“At the urging of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), officials with ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations unit did not pursue leads on potential weapons smugglers, according to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) inspector general report released on Friday.”