Schumer Trying to Revive Immigration Reform?

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Politico is reporting that Sen. Chuck Schumer is scheduling hearings to try to revive efforts to pass immigration reform. Schumer heads the Senate Immigration Subcommittee. Here is what Politico has to say:

Sen. Chuck Schumer …will hold a hearing next week focused on the economic argument for an immigration overhaul.

It’s a subtle shift in emphasis for immigration reform advocates, who met recently with Schumer (D-N.Y.) to plot a strategy.

“We decided we ought to start highlighting the fact that immigration creates jobs rather than takes them away,” Schumer, the No. 3 Senate leader, said in an interview. “Everyone agreed that is how we are going to start talking about immigration, as a job creator.”

The change in emphasis capitalizes on an all-consuming focus in Washington on the economy. President Barack Obama spent several weeks in the spring pushing for immigration reform, including a speech that highlighted the economic benefits, but the issue has been overshadowed by budget negotiations and stalled by a Republican-controlled House.

Schumer is calling in business leaders to talk about the need for more highly skilled workers and mayors whose local economies have benefited from an influx of lower-skilled immigrants.

The witnesses includes NASDAQ chief Robert Greifield, Cornell University President David Skorton, Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith, and Amgen medical director Puneet Arora, who is testifying in his role as a leader of Immigration Voice, which favors boosting legal immigration of high-skilled workers. The second panel will include testimony from the mayors of Utica, N.Y., Lewiston, Maine, and Uvalda, Ga.

“Our immigration talks are moving along, and surprisingly well and regularly,” said Schumer, the Senate Democratic point person on the issue. “Immigration is a rough road and I’m making no predictions, but (the talks) are clearly not dead.”


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