With those two advocacy groups’ blessing, there was little dissent on the issue.
Just one amendment on the Senate floor dealt with potential competition for jobs, and that was a minor measure to require states to certify that their employers are actively trying to recruit American workers before businesses can try to recruit seasonal workers, who are often used at summer beach resorts or winter ski slopes. That amendment passed by voice vote.
“I think this time around, the pro-immigration reform forces are much better organized and on the offensive, whereas in 2007 the anti-reform people were better organized and on the offensive,” Mr. Nowrasteh said.
Mr. Camarota blamed the lack of a floor debate on the political pressure on both parties to get a deal done.
“The Democrats don’t want the issue to come up because they’re very anxious to make sure they get a legalization and there,” he said.
As for the GOP, he said that’s a matter of listening to businesses rather than looking at the data.
“Every piece of data that the government collects on wages and employment does not support the idea that we have a labor shortage. The only piece of evidence that there is a shortage of workers is testimonials of owners of businesses that want access to more foreign labor, and that’s what Republicans listen to,” he said.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, an Alabama Republican who fought against the Senate bill, said he hopes that when the GOP-controlled House takes up the issue it will have more to say about immigrants competing for jobs.
“This study underscores that the economic problem facing America right now is not too few workers but too many unemployed workers,” Mr. Sessions said.