- The Washington Times - Monday, April 14, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House Democratic leadership have apparently come up with a new strategy to prevent the House from approving the SAVE Act (H.R. 4088), an enforcement-only approach to the illegal immigration issue. The bill, introduced by Reps. Brian Bilbray, California Republican, and Heath Shuler, North Carolina Democrat, has garnered more than 160 cosponsors. The SAVE Act aims to reduce illegal immigration through such methods as employer sanctions and strengthened border security.

Mrs. Pelosi wants to bury the bill, but many members of the House Democratic Caucus are under pressure from their constituents to take a tough stand against illegal immigration, so the speaker has sought to find a way to pretend to be taking action while ensuring that H.R. 4088 never sees the light of day. The legislation has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee, which is expected to hold hearings on the issue in the coming weeks. In all likelihood, the very liberal committee will find that the legislation has serious problems and requires further “study.” Mr. Bilbray and Mr. Shuler have launched a campaign to circumvent the obstructionists by getting 218 signatures on a discharge petition that would permit the legislation to come to the floor for a vote. As of Friday, some 40 House members had cosponsored the SAVE Act, but under pressure from the Democratic leadership had not signed the discharge petition.

According to a list compiled by the office of Mr. Bilbray, chairman of the Immigration Reform Caucus, the “Frightened 40” are one Republican, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, and the following 39 Democrats: Reps. Jason Altimire (Pennsylvania); Michael Arcuri (New York); Brian Baird (Washington); Melissa Bean (Illinois); Marion Berry (Arkansas); Sanford Bishop (Georgia); Dan Boren (Oklahoma); Leonard Boswell (Iowa); Rick Boucher (Virginia); Allen Boyd (Florida); Steve Cohen (Tennessee); Jim Cooper (Tennessee); Bud Cramer (Alabama); Artur Davis (Alabama); Lincoln Davis (Tennessee); Kirsten Gillibrand (New York); Bart Gordon (Tennessee); Brian Higgins (New York); Baron Hill (Indiana); Paul Hodes (New Hampshire); Tim Holden (Pennsylvania); Steve Kagen (Wisconsin); Ron Klein (Florida); Jim Marshall (Georgia); Jim Matheson (Utah); Jerry McNerney (California); Charlie Melancon (Louisiana); Patrick Murphy (Pennsylvania); John Murtha (Pennsylvania); Ed Perlmutter (Colorado); Ciro Rodriguez (Texas); Mike Ross (Arkansas); Tim Ryan (Ohio); Joe Sestak (Pennsylvania); Zachary Space (Ohio); Bart Stupak (Michigan); John Tanner (Tennessee); Mark Udall (Colorado); and Peter Visclosky (Indiana).


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