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July 08, 2007

The Senate Immigration Reform Bill: The Case of the Twitching Toe

June 25, 2007 issue of the New York Law Journal

By Stephen Yale-Loehr and Ted J. Chiappari;

"The U.S. Senate is considering S. 1639, a comprehensive immigration reform bill. The Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007, as it is called, would be the biggest change in immigration policy in over 20 years. It would affect everyone in the United States--citizens and noncitizens alike--in some way.

The bill is controversial. The core group of about 12 senators who negotiated the "grand bargain," as they call it, are fending off attacks from all sides. The grand bargain suffered a grand collapse on June 7, when over 100 amendments threatened to drown the bill and the Senate failed to end debate on the legislation. At the time pundits predicted the bill was dead. But it now appears that the bill has been resurrected, with an agreement to limit the number of proposed amendments.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) provides a useful historical analogy. Congress considered variations of that legislation for five years before IRCA was finally enacted. Even as late as two weeks before enactment, the bill appeared dead. Representative Dan Lungren described the 1986 immigration bill as "a corpse going to the morgue." But on the way, the California Republican said, "a toe began to twitch," and lawmakers resuscitated the body. Robert Pear, Immigration Bill: How "Corpse" Came Back to Life, New York Times, Oct. 13, 1986, at A16.

A summary of some of S. 1639's key elements shows why the bill's life expectancy is so hard to predict...".

Posted by VisaLawyer at July 8, 2007 09:22 AM

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