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Immigration Reform Advances in Congress

July 10, 2013

Immigration continues to dominate the dialogue on Capitol Hill, with significant action occurring in both the House and Senate over the past few weeks. On June 26th, the full Senate voted 68-32 to approve, S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. This comprehensive immigration reform measure included the agreement reached between the Agriculture Workforce Coalition, co-founded by NMPF, and the United Farm Workers. NMPF played a pivotal role in securing both the agreement and the support of many senators for this historic legislation. S.744 now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

In the House of Representatives, the House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines on June 19th to approve H. R. 1773, the Agricultural Guestworker Act. This legislation was a standalone immigration reform measure introduced by Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). The legislation now awaits further action by the House of Representatives. The House Judiciary Committee has also passed legislation dealing with border security, e-verify, high tech visas, and enforcement.

Looking ahead, the decision on whether or not the full House will act on immigration reform measures will be determined in great part during a meeting of the House Republican Caucus on July 10th. At that meeting, Republican leadership has indicated they will debate the path forward for immigration reform in the House. A number of possibilities remain, including the consideration of piecemeal legislation such as H. R. 1773, or the consideration of a comprehensive reform bill.