House panel says it will offer series on immigration bills
By EMMARIE HUETTEMAN
and ASHLEY PARKER
The New York Times
WASHINGTON — The House Judiciary Committee announced Thursday that it would introduce a series of bills beginning this week to overhaul the nation’s immigration system, a move designed to keep the committee in the middle of the debate over the issue, which is now percolating on Capitol Hill, and to press a bipartisan group in the
House that has been working in private on its own broad legislation.
Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va. and the chairman of the committee, said the first of several proposals in the coming weeks would create a temporary guest worker program for agriculture and require employers to use an electronic verification system to check the immigration status of employees.
The announcement came after the Senate Judiciary Committee this week held the last of three hearings on broad immigration legislation that would tighten border security and offer an eventual path to citizenship for 11 million immigrants already in the country.
Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., both members of the bipartisan group of eight senators who wrote the legislation, said Thursday that they were aiming to win 70 votes in the Senate and hoped to gain the backing of a majority of senators in both parties — a prospect McCain described as “very doable.”
Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt. and the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced Thursday that his committee would begin its markup of the immigration bill on May 9, shortly after Congress returns from its recess. Consideration of the legislation is expected to last through most of May.
“There’s a different mood in the Senate,” Schumer said. “I hope that our immigration bill sets the model for coming bipartisan agreements.”