Bipartisan panel adds 2 cents to immigration
WASHINGTON — A group of former Republican and Democrat officeholders on Thursday made recommendations on how to overhaul immigration laws.
Members of the Bipartisan Policy Center, including former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, praised the work done on a broad bill that passed the Senate in June and said the House is making good progress. Their advice, they said, brings together concepts embraced by members in both chambers.
“You've got a pretty broad range of views represented, and yet we find that it is possible to find common ground,” said Michael Chertoff, secretary of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush.
The group is chaired by two Republicans, former secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and ex-Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, and two Democrats, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros, a Clinton appointee, and Rendell.
The main recommendations released by the group focus on border security and a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants. In many cases, they combine ideas embraced by the Democrat-controlled Senate and the Republican-controlled House.
The bipartisan center supported the Senate's plan of granting temporary legal status to illegal immigrants as they work toward green cards and legalization, a proposal that has drawn sharp criticism in the Republican-led House.
“If there is a rigorous path to citizenship ... I'm comfortable with that,” Barbour said.
The group says that “national security depends on America's ability to enforce its immigration laws at the border.”
The Senate bill would send nearly 20,000 Border Patrol agents to the southwest border.
The bipartisan group said it is necessary for the federal government to develop a better way to understand what exactly is going on at the border.
Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, is pushing a bill that would require the Department of Homeland Security to spend six months developing a way to better measure border security.
Ira Mehlman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which opposes the Senate bill and advocates lower levels of immigration, said the inclusion of a couple of Republicans in the Bipartisan Policy Center does not mean that its recommendations reflect the thinking of conservatives.
“Everybody's trying to cloak themselves in the mantle of conservatism because they think it's advantageous to convince the House to do what the Senate has done,” Mehlman said. “Is there a consensus of opinion among the American people?”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Hungry bears push into Denver area
- Rock threatens base of Arizona dam
- Boeing names next space fleet
- Exploration of sunken German U-boat shown online
- Charter schools unconstitutional, Washington state’s top court rules
- Video footage expected to aid in hunt for 3 sought in shooting of Illinois police officer
- Bidens remain unsure of readiness for campaign
- California wildfires impede holiday fun
- Top Dem on panel says he’ll oppose Obama’s nuke deal
- Kentucky county clerk Davis jailed for stand on same-sex marriage licenses
- Kentucky clerk invokes ‘God’s authority,’ still refuses gay marriage licenses