Turning up the Heat on Congress Over Summer Recess
August recess  is in full swing, and the plans to show Congress how badly Americans want immigration reform “back home” are well under way.  While August is always a time to remind Members of Congress about crucial issues, this year’s immigration events, meetings, and rallies are occurring at a time when Members of Congress, particularly House Republicans, are seriously re-examining their positions on immigration.   This may be the most critical month for capturing the hearts and minds of House Members.
Counting the Votes on Immigration Reform in the House
For most people who follow the immigration debate, it is an issue which at its core is about values like fairness, faith, and family. Those who support immigrants’ rights and want to see our immigration system reformed follow the ins and outs of the debate via nightly news, daily media clips, or blogs like this one.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer Still Cannot Connect the Dots Between Immigration Reform and Border Security
Anti-immigrant politicians suffer from a chronic inability to understand that immigration reform must be truly comprehensive if it is to be effective. That is, all facets of the extremely complex U.S. immigration system must be fixed at the same time if the system as a whole is to function properly—everything from border enforcement to family reunification to visas for high-skilled and less-skilled workers to legal status for unauthorized immigrants already living in the United States.
Forging Consensus on Visa Program Critical to Crafting Effective Policy
A proposal being considered in the House revives the debate around the number of visas that would be allocated to less skilled workers, also known as “W” visas. In particular, Representatives Ted Poe of Texas and Raul Labrador of Idaho are working on an immigration bill that could double the number of visas of less skilled workers that the Senate settled on.  Although the increased number could help address the labor shortage in some industries, this proposal would potentially cause a fracture in the consensus achieved between business and labor leaders who negotiated the levels that were included in S. 744..
Courts Continue to Reject Arizona Style Laws, Even as House Embraces SAFE Act
Last year, in Arizona v. United States, the Supreme Court reaffirmed that the federal government, rather than the states, has both the responsibility and the authority to enforce immigration law.  Leaving immigration enforcement to the whims of individual state legislatures and law enforcement officers was, according to the Court, likely to undermine the federal framework and interfere with U.S. foreign relations.