Some GOPers want immigration reform now

Via United Press International

WASHINGTON,
Nov. 9 (UPI) — Some Republicans believe the party leadership in the
U.S. Congress should try to get the stalled immigration reform bill
passed during a lame-duck session.

“It would be better to get a comprehensive (immigration reform)
package passed while we are still in a position to draft it,” Stewart
Verdery, a former senior official at the Department of Homeland
Security, now a GOP lobbyist and policy consultant, told United Press
International.

“Otherwise, we will just get a more liberal bill next year” when
the Democrats take control, said Verdery, a long-time supporter of
immigration reform.

President George W. Bush said Wednesday he would work with
Democrats in Congress to pass the legislative package he has pushed,
but which has been blocked till now by House Republicans who oppose its
guest worker program and its provision giving illegal immigrants a path
to legalization and eventually citizenship.

Angelo Amador, an immigration law specialist with the U.S. Chamber
of Commerce, told UPI that while business leaders hoped there would be
some progress during the so-called lame duck session — after the
election, but before the new Congress — he was skeptical a whole bill
could be passed.

“Logistical problems are going to be the key,” he said. “Are they
going to have the time?” Congress returns next week, but then will wrap
up for the Thanksgiving break shortly after that.

The issue Amador hopes for progress on is the limit on the numbers
of high-skill temporary workers entering under the H1B visa program. He
said Congress could raise the limit — which is met every year within
days — create exemptions for some categories of workers, or “get
creative” — perhaps by “reclaiming” visas not used during several
years when the cap was much higher and rarely reached.

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