02/24/2013 06:03:00 PM EST
Will House Republicans Accept the Senate Proposal for Immigration Reform?
Former House Judiciary Committee counsel Nolan Rappaport goes through the recent bipartisan Senate proposal for immigration reform and discusses its pluses, minuses, and prospects in the House of Representatives. Excerpt: "...Resistance to comprehensive immigration reform in the House of Representatives is based in part on fear that a deal to permit legalization in return for enforcement measures will fail the way it did with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). Former House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) says, “We’ve been down this road before with politicians promising to enforce the law in return for amnesty. And then after the amnesty, they fail to make good on the enforcement promises.” IRCA was supposed to give lawful status to the undocumented aliens who were already in the country and prevent a new group from taking their place by using employer sanctions to eliminate the job magnet that draws undocumented aliens to the United States. Approximately 2.7 million people were legalized in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but government figures show that by the beginning of 1997, they had been completely replaced by new undocumented aliens. Representative Bob Goodlatte (R- VA), the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has emphasized this concern in his response to the Senate proposal. He said he has a lot of questions about how it would prevent illegal immigration in the future. ... The proposal would require “the completion of an entry-exit system that tracks whether all persons entering the United States on temporary visas via airports and seaports have left the country as required by law.” It is not clear whether the system also would be completed at land border POEs. ... Inspecting and identifying aliens seeking admission may offer substantial security benefits, but it is not apparent how the information in entry-exit records can assist with enforcement measures against visitors who overstay their periods of admission. Entry- exit records make it possible to identify overstays, but they do not provide any information about their locations. In other words, you can find out who they are, but you will not know where to find them. Moreover, although overstay information might assist in establishing deportability in removal proceedings, it is not necessary. Section 291 of the Immigration and Nationality Act places the burden of proof on aliens in removal proceedings “to show the time, place, and manner of [their entries] into the United States.” If this burden of proof is not sustained, they will be presumed to be in the United States in violation of law, which makes them deportable. ... The Republicans also can be expected to want assurance that aliens who put false information on their applications or use fraudulent documents would be subject to being placed in removal proceedings. ..." - LexisNexis Emerging Issues Analysis, Feb. 2013. [Emerging Issues Analysis PDFs may be purchased individually or accessed through Lexis.com if you have a subscription.]