Resurrect immigration reform bill

Tue., Nov. 20, 2018—The Spokesman Review

On June 27, 2013, the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan immigration reform bill by a veto-proof 68-32 margin. With a bipartisan House of Representatives majority in favor (Froma Harrop, Spokesman-Review, Jan. 20, 2018) and President Obama’s signature assured, the bill was destined to become law until the Republican House leadership, including our own Cathy McMorris Rodgers, violated majority rule by not allowing a vote of the full House. The bill included a nationwide employment eligibility verification system (E-Verify) and stricter border control, along with a path to citizenship for eleven million undocumented immigrants, an innovative temporary worker program and increased visa numbers for skilled foreign workers.

Can the new House Democratic majority rescue this legislation? President Trump has made rumblings of bipartisan accomplishments with the new House, and the bill does not involve new undocumented immigrants toward whom he’s obsessively hostile. Should the unpredictable President renege, perhaps the Senate could reassemble a veto-proof majority; and the House likewise with new House Democrats joining a semblance of the original bipartisan House majority.

This may be overly optimistic, but certainly worth a try and would relieve some of our country’s divisiveness and stress on immigrants already in the U.S.

Norm Luther


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