An important anti-illegal immigration bill that’s stalled in Congress

Paul Nachman writes:

I urge VFR’s audience to read a 2,600 word article by me at VDARE, “Lamar Smith’s Legal Workforce Act: Far More Than E-Verify—And Worth Fighting FOR, Not OVER.” That’s just eight to ten minutes’ reading time for most people, so I hope folks will read and digest it, as the subject is very important.

The bill isn’t merely “a good bill.” It has actually moved forward in Congress, having been marked up and passed by the House Judiciary Committee in September. But it’s been prevented from reaching the House floor, partly because there’s some dissension on our side about the bill, hence less pressure for action on the House Republican leadership than there should be.

Here are a few key points from the article:

- Rosemary Jenks, chief legislative expert for NumbersUSA, explained the Capitol Hill politics of the bill to me: “The leadership doesn’t believe it’s a good election-year issue, so they’ll try to avoid it. It’s our job to make sure that they can’t avoid it, especially when we’re talking about a bill that would open up jobs for millions of unemployed Americans.”

- Besides making E-Verify mandatory for all employers, the bill directs the Social Security Administration to take the actions that will close the identity-theft loophole that’s E-Verify’s only real weakness.

- Several terrific people on our side (e.g. Lou Barletta and Kris Kobach) have been criticizing the bill because it would preempt some state enforcement actions. I think they’re missing the forest for the trees on this one, but you need to read the article to see why.

- The article’s closing argument:

Recall that the last great chance for patriotic immigration reform, including significant reductions in legal immigration, foundered when Barbara Jordan died in 1996, letting Bill Clinton renege on his support for the immigration-sanity measures that the Jordan-chaired U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform had proposed.

Fifteen long years and millions of illegal aliens later, the Legal Workforce Act is our most realistic shot at accomplishing part—just part!—of 1996’s might-have-been.

Introduction in Congress of a good bill is usually of little significance, often done for publicity and soon forgotten. But H.R.2885 is a bill that’s in motion—and which can pass if patriot forces apply unceasing pressure to our easily-distracted legislators.

Roy Beck provides further details of what happened in 1996, especially Newt Gingrich’s culpability for it, here.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 28, 2011 09:14 AM | Send

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