Last Friday, the White House published a set of fact sheets for every state (but not, frustratingly, the District of Columbia) on the economic benefits of comprehensive immigration reform, based more-or-less on the types of reforms that were included in the Senate bill that passed in July. Economic benefits cited by the administration include “increasing workers’ wages and generating new tax revenue to strengthening the local industries that are the backbone of states’ economies.”
According to The Hill, the Senate will vote Monday on ending debate on an amendment offered Sen. Leahy (D-VT) to the Senate immigration bill that bundles together a border security deal worked out by Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and John Hoeven (R-ND) with some other changes. I took a quick look at the amendment this morning (and you can too—here is the text), and, not surprisingly, the changes proposed by Sen. Rubio to the English requirement in the bill—or any of the other English language amendments offered so far—did not make it into this “omnibus”amendment.
That doesn’t mean that it still might not be offered, (I have no idea right now) but now that a border security deal has been struck, there is a big push to get this bill passed without further controversy by the end of the week, just before Senators leave for the July 4th recess.
Interestingly, the Corker-Hoeven deal isn’t just about border security: it includes a new Title, Title V, that creates a $1.5 billion “Jobs for Youth” program proposed by Sen. Sanders (I-VT). (See page 1183.)
UPDATE 06/24/13: Noah Bierman, in a story in today’s Boston Globe, confirms that the Rubio amendment is dead for now, but notes that a similar proposal will surely re-emerge at some point in the House:
Rubio’s proposal to require an English-language proficiency test earlier in the path to citizenship for illegal immigrants suffered a setback Friday, after Senate leaders did not include it in an agreement on another amendment to beef up border security.
But the issue of mandatory English testing and classes is expected to be raised again in the House, where the Republican majority has been chillier to an immigration overhaul that would allow a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
A few posts ago I pulled out all the amendments related to English proficiency offered to the Senate immigration bill, and I’ve been focusing on the one that I think has the most liklihood of passage: the amendment submitted by Sen. Rubio discussed here.
Here’s a new one: Sen. Fischer (R-NE) has introduced what she is referring to as an “assimilation amendment” that would require undocumented immigrants to demonstrate English language proficiency prior to even registering for provisional status. In other words, an undocumented immigrant who could not demonstrate English proficiency would not be allowed to attain legal status of any kind at all. Here is the text of the amendment.
I think this has a low likelihood of passage, but that doesn’t mean, if you are concerned about it, that you shouldn’t contact your Senator. Helpfully, TESOL has just issued an alert on both the Rubio and Fischer amendments:
S.A. 1204, introduced by Sen. Inhofe (R-OK)
AKA the “English Language Unity Act of 2013’’. Would declare English the official language of the United States government.
S.A. 1205, introduced by Sen. Inhofe (R-OK)
Would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 so that it would be legal for an employer to “require employees to speak English while engaged in work.”
S.A. 1206, introduced by Sen. Inhofe (R-OK)
Would require each government agency, within 180 days of enactment, to provide a “Multilingual Services Expenses Report” that provides a summary and analysis of all multilingual services provided.
S.A. 1225, introduced by Sen. Rubio (R-FL)
Would remove the opportunity for immigrants applying for legal residency status to demonstrate that they are “satisfactorily pursuing a course of study, pursuant to standards established by the Secretary of Education, in consultation with the Secretary, to achieve an understanding of English and knowledge and understanding of the history and Government of the United States” at the level of proficiency now required for citizenship. Instead it would require that all immigrant achieve that level of proficiency prior to applying for a green card.
S.A. 1348, introduced by Sen. Fischer (R-NE)
Would insert an English language requirement as a prerequisite to registered provisional immigrant status. Essnetially, an undocumented immigrant who could not demonstrate English proficiency would not be allowed to attain legal status of any kind at all. h/t CLASP
Let me know if I missed anything!
UDPATE 6/20/13: I’m updating as I go. Just added the Fischer amendment (see above).