House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) plans to introduce a comprehensive amnesty bill designed to pressure Republicans to take up the immigration issue during the busy fall schedule. The legislation would combine the bill the Senate Judiciary Committee passed in May with a border-security bill the House Homeland Security Committee passed.
Reports indicate the bill would include the language of S. 744 as passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, rather than the full Senate version. That means it would exclude provisions contained in the Corker-Hoeven amendment that sponsors claimed would double the number of agents on the southern border and complete the border fence. Instead, the border security provisions could parallel a measure (H.R. 1413) sponsored by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Tex.) that simply requires the Department of Homeland Security to draft a plan to gain operation control of the Southwest border within five years. Operation control would be defined as a 90 percent apprehension rate at the high-traffic areas of the border within five years.
House Democrats said the $40 billion added under the Corker-Hoeven amendment was a waste of money that would “militarize” the border. Still, that amendment was the price Senate Democrats paid to buy enough votes from Senate Republicans for passage. It is not clear how House Republicans – even those who have said they will support amnesty under certain conditions – will react to a weaker border security plan.
Pelosi is not counting on Speaker Boehner to allow a floor vote on her bill. The goal, instead, is to set up a situation where House Republicans are pressured to either vote on her plan, or to offer an alternative of their own, and then proceed to negotiations between the House and the Senate. Rep. Goodlatte recently confirmed that Republicans were considering a package of bills, at least one of which would include some form of legalization for illegal aliens who arrived in the United States as minors. Another bill could include a legalization for the rest of the 11+ million illegal aliens.
Pelosi’s strategy was developed in a meeting she hosted for House Democratic leaders and amnesty advocates, including the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union, the National Council of La Raza, America's Voice and CASA de Maryland. Some suggest the bill may be publicly released to coincide with a National Day of Action that advocates have scheduled for October 5th, although plans have not been finalized.
Updated: Fri, Sep 27th 2013 @ 1:01pm EDT