"New Immigration Law" - Not So Fast!

Written by Alexander J. Segal on

Alexander J. Segal's picture

I thought I needed to write about the subject of the “new immigration law” as, in my opinion, it is rather important to make this point. As the Senate voted yesterday in favor of the Immigration Reform bill proposed in April by the bipartisan group of eight senators, I see substantial increase in questions about the “new immigration law” and rules. These questions inundate blogs like AVVO and LawQA. They also appear often here on My Attorney USA. Finally, I get numerous emails with the same questions expressing optimism and talking about the Bill as if it was already the law of the land. It is not.

The fact that the immigration reform proposal passed in the Senate is an important step in the direction of actually getting to the new immigration law that makes sense. The Senate passage of the Bill is, however, a baby step in right direction at best. I do support most of the Senate Bill, and I do hope that positive changes to this Nation's immigration system, like point-based immigration, would come and soon. Such system would make much more sense than, for instance, the DV program, which does not work for many, while creating huge wave of aggravation each year.

At the same time, the inflated optimism expressed by some on the blogs including some of my esteemed colleagues is out of context. Today's article in the conservative web publication the Newsmax “GOP Senators Predict Quick Death for Senate Immigration Bill in the House” is a good illustration of this point. I recommend overly optimistic individuals to read the article. It is rather informative. In essence, for the Bill to become law of the land, it must pass the House of Representative and then be reconciled on a congressional conference. If and once that process is over, we will see the final version of the bill, which the President would have to sign into law. I am sure, the final version of the Bill will be nothing like its Senate version. Many of the good provisions will be eliminated or replaced with much more restrictive versions, which would water down the Bill substantially.

Here are but some of the quotes from that article that make the point:

“Sponsors of this legislation, despite the array of financial, establishment, and special-interest support, failed to hit their target of 70 votes,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions, the Alabama Republican who has long railed against the bill. “The more people learned about the bill, the more uneasy they became.”

“Failure to reach 70 votes is significant, and ensures the House has plenty of space to chart an opposite course and reject this fatally flawed proposal,” Sessions said. “It is a broken promise, 1,200 pages long.”

“This is a bill led by Democrats,” Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul declared on Fox News. “There will be a bill proposed for immigration reform led by Republicans in the House, and I'm hoping that's something that I can get behind.”

“I think I made it clear that if we're going to do this the right way, there ought to be a majority of Democrats and a majority of Republicans in favor of it,” the Ohio Republican said, ABC News reports. Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana agreed. “This has no momentum at all in the House,” he said of the Senate legislation.

Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, said any reform legislation needs provisions to “reduce the wait-time and simplify the process for those entering the country legally.

“Unfortunately, instead of proving to the American public that Congress is serious about border security and enforcing the laws already on the books, the final Senate bill gives weak promises on border security, leaving many aspects of implementation to the discretion of the Homeland Security Secretary,” Thune said. “Simply put, the Senate immigration bill is legalization first and empty promises of border security second,” he added.

The article underlies the major problem with the Bill. It does not have enough bipartisan support in the House to pass unchanged and its changed version, if that one even passes, might me much less favorable to immigrants and immigration causes.

The article can be found here: “GOP Senators predict quick death for Senate Immigration Bill in House” [link]

Source: newsmax.com, fox news.