House GOP to Make Immigration Reform Intelligible
The Los Angeles Times has a good piece outlining how House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), a former immigration attorney whose committee has jurisdiction over immigration laws, is planning to contribute to the reform debate begun by the Senate’s Gang of Eight proposal.
In contrast to the Gang’s sprawling 844 pages, Goodlatte is opting for much smaller pieces of legislation that deal with specific issues, such as a guest worker program, border security, and expanding use of E-Verify among employers.
Goodlatte’s process also has another feature that commends it – education for deliberation.
“At the same time, however, the House bills could provide an important educational exercise for many newer GOP lawmakers as they learn the complexities of the immigration debate. Many Republicans represent congressional districts that have very small Latino or immigrant populations, leaving them unfamiliar with the issue. Republican leaders, however, believe that passing immigration reform legislation is vital to their future electoral strategy of attracting Latino voters.
“Goodlatte and others have been conducting study sessions attended by 100 Republican lawmakers to bring them up to speed on immigration issues.”
A big part of Paul Ryan’s popularity is derived from his emphasis on explaining how the current federal system works, where it needs to be fixed, and what solutions will fix the problems. Just like Ryan, Goodlatte seems to realize that Members of Congress, and the public too, will benefit from getting more time, more information, and more debate about how to fix our broken immigration system.
Besides, as ObamaCare has shown, there’s no virtue in “comprehensive” reform if its parts are unintelligible and unworkable. Better to get the policy right the first time.