National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

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Legislative Update for August 7, 2009

August 07, 2009 - Posted by Maurice Belanger

Hearings on employment verification: On July 21, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing, “Ensuring a Legal Workforce: What Changes Should be Made to Our Current Employment Verification System?”  Testifying were Congressman Luis Guitierrez (D-IL); Michael Aytes, Acting Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; James Ziglar, Senior Fellow, Migration Policy Institute; and Lynden Melmed, Former Chief Counsel for USCIS, Berry Appleman & Leiden, LLP.


You can get statements of the witnesses, statements of Committee members, and a video recording of the hearing, on the Committee’s Web site.


Another comprehensive immigration reform-related hearing on employment-based immigration, scheduled for August 6th, was cancelled.


In the House, there was a hearing, “E-Verify: Challenges and Opportunities,” on July 23 in the Government Management, Organization and Procurement Subcommittee of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.  You can get testimony of the witness on this page of the Committee’s Web site.


Integration legislation: On July 21, Senators Gillibrand (D-NY) and Alexander (R-TN) introduced the Strengthen and Unite Communities with Civics Education and English Skills Act, S. 1478.  Among other things, the Act would provide more resources for English language teaching, and create incentives for business and teachers providing English language training.  A summary of the bill can be found on this press release from Senator Gillibrand’s office.


Text of the bill can be obtained here.


Representative Honda (D-CA) introduced a similar companion bill, H.R. 3249, in the House.


Legislation to HELP separated children: On July 31, Representative Lynn Woolsey introduced the Humane Enforcement and Legal Protections for Separated Children Act (HELP Separated Children Act), H.R. 3531.  Among other things the bill would provide nationwide protocols to help keep children with their parents or caregivers and out of the foster care system while their parent’s or caregiver’s case is pending by ensuring that vulnerable populations apprehended during immigration enforcement activities are identified and treated with dignity.  Text of the bill can be obtained here.


SAVE Act redux: Representative Heath Schuler (D-NC) has reintroduced the SAVE Act, H.R. 3308, which would, among other things, make E-Verify mandatory.  It was a bad idea last year; it’s still a bad idea.  Mr. Schuler still wants to quarterback the deportation-only team, but that team is not likely to take the field this year.  You can find the text here.



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