Jeb Bush: Finishing the Immigration Puzzle

“Some policy makers are calling for piecemeal changes—such as issuing visas for high-skilled workers and investors, or conferring legal status on immigrants who were illegally brought into the country as children. Congress should avoid such quick fixes and commit itself instead to comprehensive immigration reform,” says Jeb Bush in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

“The immigration system is like a jigsaw puzzle. If one or more pieces are out of whack, the puzzle makes no sense. To fix the system, Congress must make sure all of the pieces fit together, logically and snugly.”

McCain Again in Immigration Spotlight

“To understand the GOP’s complicated history with immigration reform, look no further than Sen. John McCain.
The Arizona Republican has spent his last two elections distancing himself from an immigration deal he reached with liberal icon Ted Kennedy in 2007. He was pushed to the right in 2008 by Mitt Romney and then again in his 2010 Senate primary, positioning himself as a fierce border security hawk and outspoken advocate for the state’s sweeping anti-immigration law,” Politico reports.

“McCain has challenged the idea his 2007 deal with Kennedy was about amnesty for illegal immigrants — famously declaring in a 2008 presidential primary debate in New Hampshire: ‘Let me just say, I’ve never supported amnesty.'”

Rubio Warns Unions Could Kill Deal Over Citizenship Provision

“Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said on Wednesday that labor unions could kill comprehensive immigration reform unless President Barack Obama and other Democrats are willing to stand up to them on the issue of citizenship and give something less to undocumented immigrants instead,” the Huffington Post writes.

“It’s a common trope among Republicans, who claim left-leaning groups are as much to blame as those on the right for past failures on immigration reform. But labor groups, including the AFL-CIO, reject the notion that they will need to cave on the need for a pathway to citizenship — and Rubio’s allegation that it would be their fault if reform efforts fail this time around.”

Lamm Says E-Verify Needed in Colorado

“Former Colorado Governor Dick Lamm is one of more than a hundred officials, public leaders and organizations to sign on to the so-called Colorado Compact on immigration — an effort Senator Michael Bennet is spearheading. But Lamm, who has in the past made some attention-getting statements on immigration, says he has been pushing one policy that no one on the left or the right seems interested in: E-Verify,” Westword.com says.

“He recalls a story from his time as governor in 1976, when around forty Hispanic Americans came into his office because they had just been fired from a local packing plant. That business had ‘turned around and hired a bunch of illegal aliens,’ he says. The employer had fired the legal workers in favor of illegal workers for whom he didn’t have to provide health care, Lamm recalls.”

Obama Plans Immigration Speech

“President Barack Obama will travel to Las Vegas next week for a speech that could serve as the starter’s gun for a drive to overhaul immigration laws. Mr. Obama has said that overhauling national immigration policy is one of his top priorities for 2013, and he has laid out what he hopes to see in the legislation. But the speech, set for Tuesday, is meant to ‘help prod the process along,’ said one of the people familiar with his plans,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The speech comes as a group of eight senators working on immigration legislation nears a self-imposed February deadline for putting out principles for a bill. The group hopes to have legislative language by March and to pass a bill through the Senate by August.”