March 2, 2007
Update From the Hill
Greenberg Traurig Shareholder Laura Reiff is very hopeful that we
will see positive changes to the immigration law. "We are working
diligently to support a comprehensive solution to immigration reform.
CIR is good for business, employees and for the American people" Reiff
Update on the Kennedy and McCain's Immigration Measure (Congress Daily,
February 28, 2007)
Sens. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and John McCain, R-Ariz., are preparing
to unveil a comprehensive immigration measure, possibly as early as next
week, according to an aide familiar with the negotiations.
The bill will go directly to the Judiciary Committee's markup agenda,
with the goal of reporting it before the Senate adjourns for its Easter
The measure will contain all of the main components of the measure that
passed the Senate last year -- a legalization program for undocumented
immigrants, a guestworker program, and increased immigration enforcement
and border security provisions, according to lawmakers and aides
involved in the issue.
Lawmakers and aides also say the bill must move through the Senate
during the first part of the year or it will get hung up in presidential
campaign rhetoric and end-of-year wrangling over appropriations. "I know
that this is the greatest opportunity right now, the next several
months," McCain said Tuesday.
Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., who helped broker a last-minute deal that
allowed the immigration bill to pass the Senate last year, said he wants
to see an immigration bill on the Senate floor in April or May.
Salazar hinted that one provision in last year's bill might fall by the
wayside, a tiered system that assigned different eligibility criteria to
undocumented immigrants seeking permanent legalization based on how long
they had been in the country. "That's one of the points of discussion,"
Salazar said. "We want a bill that's workable."
The tiered eligibility program in last year's Senate bill was designed
to woo reluctant Republicans. But this year, the Democratic majority in
the Senate changes the negotiating dynamic. An aide said Democrats can
now push harder for provisions they want.
McCain said the administration is "heavily involved" in negotiations on
the bill, which represents a departure from last year, when the White
House championed several broad principles of immigration legislation,
but declined to get involved in specifics.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Leahy is not satisfied with the
administration's statements of support and plans at a hearing today to
press Commerce Secretary Gutierrez and Homeland Security Secretary
Chertoff for a commitment from Bush to back the Senate legislation.
"Want to make sure he sticks with us. Last time, there was a bill on the
floor, and he said he supported it, but the side deal was to make sure
the Republicans killed it" in the House, Leahy said. Asked how long he
needed to complete an immigration bill, Leahy responded, "It could be a
matter of weeks. It could be months and months and months, depending on
what the White House does."