Archive for 'Immigration'

What about that Bipartisan Immigration Bill?

(LETTER TO THE EDITOR) Americans’ memories for political events are notoriously short-lived, but one event should NEVER be forgotten amid our great immigration controversy.  That involves the bipartisan immigration reform bill that the US Senate passed by a veto-proof 68-32 margin on June 27, 2013.  The bill included a nationwide employment eligibility verification system (E-Verify) and stricter border control, along with a path to citizenship for eleven million undocumented immigrants, an innovative temporary worker program, and increased visa numbers for skilled foreign workers.

Quoting Froma Harrop’s commentary, “Republicans don’t want to fix immigration”: “There were enough supportive Democrats and Republicans to pass the reform in the House as well, but then-Speaker John Boehner didn’t put it up for a vote.” (Spokesman-Review 1/20/18) Purportedly among House Republican leadership, our Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers was complicit in this assault on democracy and majority rule.  Characteristically, she was the consummate political lackey.

House passage of this bill would have rendered it law with then-President Obama’s signature, thus avoiding all acrimony, stress on immigrants, and wasted time and money that has ensued.

Shortly after Senate passage of its bipartisan immigration reform bill, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected that the bill would reduce federal budget deficits by $197 billion over the next decade. The bill was the result of bipartisan cooperation among lawmakers, business groups, labor unions, agricultural interests, and immigration advocates. In particular, it was supported by such pro-business and pro-agriculture groups as the US Chamber of Commerce and the local Washington Growers League, an influential Eastern Washington agribusiness association working on immigration in an unusual alliance with the Washington Federation of State Employees. The Chairperson of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration also expressed support.

This legislation could still be rescued by the House, but certainly won’t happen until we make better choices like electing Lisa Brown to replace McMorris Rodgers.

Norm Luther
Spokane, WA 99223

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Misleading Comments about McMorris Rodgers

(LETTER TO THE EDITOR) Tom Horne’s 9/14/17 Spokesman-Review letter (“Read CMR’s Comments”) is very misleading.  Repeatedly, Cathy McMorris Rodgers has simply parroted Republican Speakers of the House of Representatives John Boehner and Paul Ryan, with no mind of her own.  Nevertheless, McMorris Rodgers is listed among House Republican leadership.  As such, she joined the leadership’s block of a full House vote on the June 27, 2013 bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill passed by the Senate, even though it had enough votes to pass the House at the time.  Enough House Republicans joining Democrats favored the bipartisan Senate bill for it to become law with then-President Obama’s signature had Republican House leaders, including McMorris Rodgers, allowed a vote by the full House.  The law would have ended deportations except in criminal cases. Thus Mr. Horne’s statement that “Cathy and the Republican leadership want ‘comprehensive immigration reform’ like the Senate passed in 2013, which would give legal status to almost all 11 million illegal aliens“ is completely false.

Most definitely, her idea of “comprehensive immigration reform”  is altogether different from that of the bipartisan bill passed by the Senate.  As usual, McMorris Rodgers simply follows the Republican House leadership, and it advocates a draconian approach to immigration.

Norm Luther
Spokane, WA 99223

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Spokane City Initiative 2015-1: Immigration

(Letter-to-the-Editor) Any pretense for passing proposed Spokane City Initiative 2015-1, allowing city police to stop and interrogate anyone strictly to ascertain immigration status, would already have been eliminated if US House Republican leadership, including Cathy McMorris Rodgers, had done their job. They never allowed a full House vote on the bipartisan immigration bill passed June, 2013 by the US Senate, even though the bill had enough House votes to pass. And President Obama would have signed it. The bill resulted from bipartisan cooperation among lawmakers, business groups, labor unions, agricultural interests, and immigration advocates, and would have rendered Initiative 2015-1 obsolete.  (For more information about McMorris, see this website about her. Read the rest of this entry

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Immigration Reform

To the Editor:

In an historic bipartisan 68-32 vote, last June the US Senate passed an immigration reform bill that included a path to citizenship for eleven million illegal immigrants, an innovative temporary worker program, and increased visa numbers for skilled foreign workers, as well as a nationwide employment eligibility verification system and stricter border control.  This was a result of bipartisan cooperation among lawmakers, business groups, labor unions, agricultural interests, and immigration advocates. Although many predict that the bill would pass in the US House, the majority Republican leadership there refuses to bring it up.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects the bill would reduce federal budget deficits by $197 billion over the next decade. Furthermore, it is supported by such pro-business and pro-agriculture groups as the US Chamber of Commerce and the local Washington Growers League, an influential Eastern Washington agribusiness association working on immigration in an unusual alliance with the Washington Federation of State Employees.   Interestingly, the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration has also expressed support.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers needs to represent her constituents, many in business and agriculture, by standing up to US House leadership so as to pass this bill.

Roz Luther

Spokane, WA

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