By Matea Gold in The Washington Post
The latest government statistics suggest that while the unemployment rate declined in July to 7.4 percent, the number of discouraged workers and those not in the labor force remains high. The report comes amid congressional discussions that could lead to amnesty for at least some illegal aliens in the country and legal immigration changes, both of which would dramatically increase the number of job seekers.
By Anna Palmer in Politico
By Julie Bykowicz in Bloomberg Businessweek
Over 100 Republican donors, fundraisers and former Party officials wrote Republican members of Congress on Tuesday to urge them to pass an amnesty and overhaul the nation's "broken" immigration system. The letter is one element of a campaign to lobby Republican legislators as they return to their districts for August recess.
A new investigative report from the Arizona Republic has found that the Department of Homeland Security has refused to consider academic analysis of the situation along the Southwest border with Mexico and has refused to move forward with proposed analysis that would provide the agency with much needed data. The report states, "DHS officials don't want to know, and don't want the public to know" what's really happening along the border.
Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said the Senate’s comprehensive amnesty bill (S. 744) is unconstitutional because only bills originating in the House can raise revenues. The Senate has not officially transmitted S. 744 to the House yet but Camp’s statement implies he will move to prevent the House from taking up the bill when that occurs.
A recent Rasmussen poll finds that support for the Senate immigration bill has dropped. Only 50% of likely voters now favor a plan to give legal status to illegal aliens, even if the border is secured to prevent future immigration. This figure is down from 60% less than three weeks ago. The figure drops to 39% when voters were asked if they support a plan that only cuts the flow of illegal immigration by 50%.
These results come after the Congressional Budget Office estimated last week that the Senate immigration bill would only stop the flow by 50%.
By ERICA WERNER, Associated Press
By Eliza Newlin Carney, CQ Staff
Chris Crane, the National ICE Council President, today called on Senators to defeat the Corker-Hoeven amendment to S. 744 – the comprehensive amnesty bill. He said that Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) admitted needed interior enforcement provisions are absent, and that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) abandoned his commitment to ICE officers and Sheriffs to repair the bill’s provisions that gut interior enforcement.
Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) are preparing a so-called "border surge" amendment for the comprehensive amnesty bill (S. 744) that would add 20,000 Border Patrol Agents in ten years as a precondition for distributing green cards to illegal aliens. But the National Association of Former Border Patrol Agents (NAFBPO) says it would take at least 20 years to identify, train and hire that many Agents unless the process shortchanges proper training and background checks.
A group of House and Senate Republicans held an extended press conference and rally on the East steps of the Capitol to rail against the comprehensive amnesty legislation under consideration in the Senate. They were joined by talk show host Glenn Beck and the Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector, the author of the definitive long-term cost analysis on the Senate bill.
A number of influential Georgia State Senators wrote their U.S. Senators, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, to urge a no vote on the Senate comprehensive amnesty bill – S. 744. The letter said, “(w)hile we undoubtedly need to address the complex issue of immigration reform, we must ensure we’re doing what’s right for all Americans, especially the people of Georgia.”
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and at least one other Republican Senator used a procedural move today to block the first votes on amendments to S. 744, the comprehensive amnesty bill. Under Senate rules, unanimous consent is required for various purposes, including the scheduling of amendments. Sen. Sessions used the body’s rules to thwart the first votes.
A statement issued by House Speaker John Boehner's Press Office hints that the GOP leadership would take a different approach on immigration than the Senate Gang of Eight's plan. According to the statement, the House will draft its own legislation, rather than take up and accept the Senate bill if it passes. The statement suggests that the House bill will focus on strengthening border security and enforcement mechanisms, which the Senate bill lacks.
Numbers USA, a group that favors “lower immigration levels” and opposes the Gang of Eight’s bill, recently commissioned polling in states such as Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, and North Carolina, all of which voted for Mitt Romney, where incumbent Democrats are seeking reelection in 2014. The results, obtained by National Review Online, indicate that likely voters in those states do not support the major policies in the Gang’s bill, particularly its lack of a strong border-security and enforcement trigger, and would be unlikely to back a politician who does.
By Sarah Murray and Miriam Jordan in The Wall Street Journal
A recent Gallup Poll shows that immigration is a low priority for Americans. According to the poll, Americans believe the most important problem facing the country today is the economy, followed by unemployment/jobs and dissatification with the government. Despite the Senate releasing an 844-page immigration reform bill last night, immigration ranked 7th on the list with only 4% of Americans thinking the issue is most important.