Following President Obama’s State of the Union Address on February 12, 2013, during which the President asserted that Comprehensive Immigration Reform (“CIR”) is imminent, the Senate Judiciary Committee held its first CIR hearing on February 13, 2013. The hearing covered a wide array of topics, including border security, additional visas for high-skilled workers, and family unification. Key witnesses testifying at the hearing included Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano; Chris Crane, leader of the Immigration and Custom Enforcement employees’ union; and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and undocumented immigrant, Jose Antonio Vargas. That same morning the House Homeland Security Committee convened for a hearing on border security, during which Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) stated that, in the wake of CIR reform, the House Homeland Security Committee must guide the Department of Homeland Security in its quest to develop more effective methods to secure U.S. borders and prevent drugs, weapons, and violence from infiltrating our borders.
Over Presidents’ Day weekend, The Miami Herald and USA Today released three leaked sections of an immigration reform bill drafted by the White House, covering the following main topics:
The White House stated that the leak was not an intentional release, and that the bill was prepared as a backup in the event that bipartisan discussions in Congress flounder. The document is a working draft and likely does not represent the Obama Administration’s final position on immigration reform.
Additional hearings related to immigration reform include the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security hearing, “Agricultural Labor: From H-2A to a Workable Agricultural Guestworker Program,” and the House Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security hearing, “What Does a Secure Border Look Like?” both on February 26, 2013, and the House Judiciary Committee hearing, “How E Verify Works and How it Benefits American Employers and Workers” on February 27, 2013. Gibney will monitor all developments related to immigration reform and will provide regular updates. For additional information, please contact your designated Gibney representative or email email@example.com.
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