Today’s Immigration Top 5
As we discussed last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee has begun its work on a landmark immigration reform bill including a pathway to earned citizenship. The committee continued its work today, focusing on a new guest worker program and visas for highly-skilled immigrants.
There’s real momentum behind the bill, which is expected to be voted out of committee on a bipartisan basis by the end of next week.
Here’s today’s top five reads to help catch you up on the action:
- GOP Senator exploits immigrant deaths. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) is one of the immigration reform bill’s leading opponents. He has used his seat on the Judiciary Committee to try and insert numerous “poison pill” provisions into the bill, but thankfully those efforts have been defeated by a bipartisan group of pro-reform senators. Yesterday, Cornyn released a bizarre video that seemed to exploit the deaths of immigrants in order to attack the Obama administration.
- GOP’s Florida Director of Hispanic Outreach quits job, becomes a Democrat. Citing last week’s blowup over Heritage’s now ex-researcher and his racist views, the Republican National Committee’s Director of Hispanic Outreach in Florida, Pablo Pantoja, not only quit his job but also left the GOP. “It doesn’t take much to see the culture of intolerance surrounding the Republican Party today,” Pantoja said in a note announcing his decision.
- House Republicans’ craziest arguments against immigration reform. At the very same moment a bipartisan group of senators was formally crafting immigration legislation, several Tea Party House Republicans held a press conference to denounce the bill. Among them was Rep. Steve King (R-IA), one of the few members of Congress still willing to cite a Heritage Foundation report written by a racist researcher who has since resigned.
- GOP Senator wonders why border security can’t be more like Disney World. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) proposed an amendment today that would’ve thrown up a major road block on the pathway to earned citizenship: the requirement that a biometric entry and exit system be in place ports of entry before any of the 11 MILLION undocumented are allowed to earn green cards. This expensive and technologically difficult requirement could’ve delayed the pathway to citizenship for years, if not permanently. The current bill already includes a tracking exit system in the form of a “photo tool” that expands the existing E-Verify program. Biometric information also will be collected from the undocumented applying for provisional status. But Cornyn claimed that Disney World’s system uses fingerprints, and what’s “good enough for the Magic Kingdom” should be U.S. law. Thankfully, most senators realize that the 329 U.S. ports of entry are a little bit different than the entry to Disney World and they voted down the amendment 6-12.
- Anti-reform groups stand by racist researcher. Though he may have resigned from the Heritage Foundation, racist researcher Jason Richwine still enjoys the support of numerous anti-immigration reform groups. Not only have these groups refused to condemn Richwine’s racism, they have continued to actively promote the Heritage report he co-wrote.
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