Schumer has a bold new plan for immigration reform.
By Deepak Chitnis
WASHINGTON, DC: Immigration reform has been a victim of incessant political back-and-forth ever since coming back onto the agenda in 2014, but while measures regarding fixing the logjam of legal immigration or increasing it to suit industry needs, have been next to non-existent, lawmakers are becoming increasingly more extreme in their proposed fixes for the problem of illegal immigration.
In an editorial published by The Fresno Bee, US Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas Donahue calls for more low-skilled immigration as opposed to high-skilled. The reason, he says, is that there are too many lower-tier jobs in America that US natives are simply unable or unwilling to do, considering these jobs to be beneath them.
“Many studies have concluded that the greatest percentage of job growth in the United States through 2020 is expected in low- and moderate-skilled jobs that cannot be automated or outsourced,” says Donahue. “Services like home health and nursing home care, landscaping and hospitality cannot be provided without capable staff ready to do the work.”
That theory has its critics, mostly on the GOP side. Alabama Senator Jess Sessions, in particular, said that the focus should be on getting Americans off of welfare and into jobs, regardless of what those jobs may be.
“But the only plan the President and Senate Democrats appear interested in supporting would hollow out a shrinking American middle class,” said Sessions said Thursday. “It is time to redefine ‘immigration reform‘ to serve the legitimate interests of working Americans.”
Also on the Republican side, Arizona Representative Carl Seel is proposing a bid that would require anyone in the state who is not there legally to not use public restrooms or roads. The bill, House Bill 2192, says that any person who has been proven illegal in the state – either via illegal immigration, not registering as a sex offender, or in violation of their parole – but the bill has been heavily criticized for being discriminatory and even unconstitutional.
“It’s extremely broad, and it’s clearly unconstitutional if it would lead to harassment of people of color,” said Allesandra Soler, the Executive Director of The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, to local television station KERO-TV. “This bill would create even more problems of racial profiling then we’re currently seeing.”
Democrats, however, have a new bold proposition of their own, to bring the issue of immigration reform to reality.
Senator Chuck Schumer of New York has offered fellow liberals the option of the “discharge petition,” which would allow them to go around the Republican majority in the House of Representatives and bring the bill directly to the floor. However, the bill would still need a majority to pass, which many lawmakers say is almost impossible.
The bill passed last summer in the Senate because of the Democrat majority, but the same is not true in the House.
But the one thing just about everyone agrees on is that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) will have to unequivocally support the bill if it’s ever going to stand a chance at being passed. And lately, Boehner has been fickle, to say the least. After saying that he was willing to negotiate on Democrat measures in immigration reform, he then brought proceedings to a halt by saying he doesn’t trust President Barack Obama to properly implement the new laws. And after the GOP retreat just a few weeks ago, from which many conservatives seemed to be making a push towards being willing to talk about the bill, Boehner and other top Republicans then said there was absolutely no wiggle room to negotiate on amnesty for illegal aliens.
The road to passing immigration reform may therefore be relatively short in distance, but the roadblocks along the way could make the final stretch of the road the most time-consuming. And now, passage in 2014 is looking less and less likely with each passing day, unless Boehner’s move gains muster.
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