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September 20, 2006 7:34 AM CDT

Hopes of Comprehensive Immigration Reform are Dead


Immigrants rally on 'A Day without Immigrants' in Nebraska.
Immigrants rally on "A Day without Immigrants" in Nebraska.

The President acknowledged on Friday that one of his top priorities is all but dead due to disagreements from lawmakers on Capitol Hill. It appears despite pleas from the White House and the Business Community, that Congress will not pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform during the 109th Congress. Despite acknowledging that Comprehensive Reform was unlikely the President - reiterated his call for a guest worker program in a closed meeting on national security with House Republicans at the Capitol last week.

On Thursday last week, House Republicans unveiled a series of border security initiatives they intend to merge with a spending bill funding homeland security programs, then passed the first one: a bill that would require the construction of 700 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexican border. This appears to be the only action Congress will take this year regarding the Immigration problem.

MCAA attended a forum last week in which the Republican Caucus discussed the hearings that took place throughout the U.S. this summer. In addition, MCAA along with other members of the Construction Industry have met with Congressional Leadership offices, including, Speaker Hastert's office and Majority Whip Roy Blunt's office, encouraging them to pass much needed Comprehensive Reform. Despite our efforts it appears this issue is dead until after the first of the year.

The piecemeal approach Congress is currently considering was designed with the goal of gaining widespread support of select security initiatives before the election. More contentious items, such as mandatory employee screening, were not included.

About the Author

Jessica Johnson Bennett was the Director of Government Affairs for MCAA. She has an extensive background in public affairs and government relations. Her expertise in strategic planning, PAC management and operations help on key policy issues.


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