Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin has been one of the more vocal Republican supporters of immigration reform, often championing the economic benefits that bringing 11 million people out from the shadows would have on our economy.
The House Budget Committee Chairman and former Vice Presidential candidate expects the House to start voting on immigration bills in October, well after the August recess.
“Tentatively, October, we’re going to vote on these bills. We’re going to vote on a border security bill, we’re going to vote on an interior enforcement bill, like the workplace verification and the visa tracking. We’re going to vote on a legal immigration bill for visas, for agricultural workers, for skilled workers,” Ryan said, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Ryan also expects a bill addressing a path to citizenship to be presented in the House as well. He outlined a 15-year pathway to citizenship that would provide undocumented immigrants with a “probationary visa” in the interim period. That reflects the pathway to citizenship being crafted by a bipartisan group of seven House members in its own comprehensive bill.
“We want to give people an ability to come out of the shadows and get themselves right with the law,” Ryan said.
While the early indication is that a House bill would be much worse than the comprehensive bill which already passed the Senate, it is nonetheless a sign that some progress is being made in the House on immigration reform, and that the immigration advocacy’s efforts in helping to push this issue forward is working.
Still, Ryan has continued to make his case.
Immigrants “bring labor to our economy so jobs can get done,” Ryan told the National Journal. “The dairy farmers in western Wisconsin are having a hard time finding anyone to help them produce their products, which are mostly cheese. If they can’t find workers, then they can’t produce, and we’ll end up importing. The flip side of the argument is: Just raise wages enough to attract people. But you raise wages too much in certain industries, then you’ll get rid of those industries, and we’ll just have to import.”
Immigration reform supporters have been making calls to our representatives all through the month of July, generating hundreds of calls here on Long Island and thousands more nationwide. This is an effort we need to continue if we’re going to keep the momentum going.