Although the continuing debate
over government funding and the looming debt ceiling crisis have overshadowed
discussions related to immigration reform, on October 2 House Democrats
introduced comprehensive immigration reform legislation (H.R. 15) in an effort
to counter the piecemeal approach of the House majority. The Democratic measure,
whose chief sponsor is Rep. Joe Garcia (D-Fla.), is very similar to the version
of the Senate’s comprehensive immigration bill (S. 744) that passed the Senate
Judiciary Committee in May, before compromise language was added to gain
greater Republican support for the measure. It is unlikely that House
leadership will support H.R. 15.
Despite the introduction of the
Democrats’ comprehensive measure in the House, hopes for a bipartisan
comprehensive bill passing out of the lower chamber have all but disappeared.
The House “Gang of Eight” – a group of Representatives tasked with introducing
such legislation – has dwindled to four members as a result of disagreements
over policy and strategy. Nonetheless, work is reportedly continuing behind
closed doors on the House leadership’s piecemeal approach. Majority leader Eric
Cantor (R-Va.) and House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) are
reportedly working to create a new status to which undocumented immigrants
would adjust, an issue that has yet to be addressed in the five bills
introduced by House leadership.
Click here to view new NACo presentation on the immigration reform debate and its impact on counties.
Contact: Marilina Sanz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.942.4260