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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Water hose to a fire!

    For many lawmakers in Congress, the immigration issue has become too hot to touch, especially with presidential campaigns starting up and voters, burdened with persistent unemployment, in a volatile mood. But competing bills introduced this week, one by Republicans and another by Democrats, show small but consequential steps on immigration that leaders on both sides think they might accomplish in coming months, before electoral politics overwhelm the debate.

    On Tuesday, Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, introduced a bill that would require all employers nationwide to use a federal electronic system, known as E-Verify, to confirm the employment eligibility of new hires. Mr. Smith’s bill had only Republican sponsors; a similar proposal was offered the same day in the Senate by Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa.

    Also on Tuesday, Representative Zoe Lofgren of California, the highest-ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary subcommittee on immigration, introduced a bill that would expand the number of permanent-resident documents, known as green cards, for foreign students graduating in math and sciences from top research universities. Ms. Lofgren’s bill, which had only Democratic sponsors, would also create new types of green cards for immigrant entrepreneurs who start businesses with $500,000 in backing from American investors, and for foreigners who create businesses with their own resources that employ at least 10 American workers.

    The measures were a sign that lawmakers here are skeptical that President Obama can reach his goal of passing anytime soon a broad immigration overhaul, which would include giving legal status to millions of illegal immigrants. In a speech last month in El Paso, Mr. Obama insisted that he wanted just such a package.

    But legislators in both parties are looking to break out pieces of the puzzle, to avoid a caustic debate on proposals to legalize illegal immigrants that would most likely fail in the Republican-controlled House.

    Summing up the strategy, Edward Alden, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who follows immigration policy, said: “We are stuck in this position that unless we solve everything, we can’t do anything. So let’s try something on a small scale.

  2. #2
    Realted Thread Here
    Kris Kobach Calls H.R. 2164 (E-verify) "1986" All

    Business spokesmen praise mandatory E-Verify at congress

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