Action Alert

Backroom Negotiations in House May Bring Comprehensive Immigration Reform "Lite" to the Floor! Call Your Representatives NOW!!!!!

February 14, 2008 – 0948 PST (APR)

Capitol Hill news sources have been buzzing for the past 48 hours about backroom negotiations in the House of Representatives that may bring comprehensive immigration reform "lite" to the floor.

Congressional Quarterly reports that Congressman Joe Baca (D-CA), Chairman of the Hispanic Caucus, is leading the fight for legislation that would provide a five-year amnesty visa to illegal aliens currently in the U.S.  Baca said the five-year amnesty visas would be available to illegal aliens who can "prove they have a job, pay taxes and pass a criminal background check." (Congressional Quarterly Today, February 13, 2008)

The negotiations for the five-year amnesty visas are already taking place at the highest levels of House leadership. They include Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Immigration Subcommittee Chairwoman Zoë Lofgren (D-CA) and are reportedly bipartisan in nature. Speaker Pelosi, however, denies there has been any firm decision to move forward. (Id.)

Not surprisingly, jumping on the visa bandwagon are business interests that have been attempting for months to secure an increase in H-2B visas—visas for unskilled workers.  These business interests have made repeated, but failed attempts since the demise of the 2007 Bush-Kennedy amnesty bill to increase the number of H-2B visas so employers could import more cheap foreign labor. Now they are at it again and Congress seems willing to listen, even during a period of economic downturn in the U.S.! Congressman Xavier Becerra (D-CA), assistant to Speaker Pelosi, confirmed that Leadership was attempting to find some "relief" for employers who cannot get enough foreign labor due to the caps set forth by law. (Congress Daily, February 13, 2008) Commenting on these negotiations, the senior manager for immigration policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said, "I think there is some type of deal in the works." (Congressional Quarterly Today, February 13, 2008) 

Please call your Representatives NOW and tell them you want them to reject this plan to reward special interests. Insist that instead of working on comprehensive immigration reform "lite" they get to work on serious enforcement legislation. Tell them you oppose all forms of amnesty and oppose allowing big business to import even more cheap foreign workers so they can increase their profits at the expense of U.S. workers and wages!!!

To find the phone number of your Representative, click here.

Stay tuned to FAIR for more updates on these negotiations…

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