Thursday, September 13, 2007

K-Lo posts a CQ story on the attempt to bring back pieces of the "grand bargain":

Senate Democrats plan to use the defense authorization bill next week to revive a provision from the failed immigration overhaul that would put some children of illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship.

Meanwhile, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is working to bring to the floor another provision from the immigration bill (S 1639) that would create a guest worker program for up to 1.5 million agricultural workers (S 340).


Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., is expected to offer an amendment to the defense bill (HR 1585) that would attach legislation (S 774) to allow children of illegal immigrants who entered the United States before age 16 and lived here at least five years to gain conditional legal status and eventual citizenship if they attend college or join the military for at least two years.

Durbin said Wednesday he is working on the amendment and contacting colleagues to gauge support.

“The Department of Defense has endorsed this, and I think it would be of value,” he said in an interview.

Durbin said Feinstein is searching for the right vehicle. One possibility could be the upcoming five-year farm bill, which is expected to reach the Senate floor next month.

Sen. Sessions (R-AL) says that these measures could "put more than 4 million illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship." He also thinks Sen. Chambliss (R-GA) may be collaborating with Feinstein on AgJobs:

The reason for Sessions’ alarm was a July 25 colloquy in which Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., assured Feinstein of a vote on the so-called AgJobs measure, which she introduced earlier this year as a freestanding bill (S 340). “I will do everything I can to make sure it is part of the farm bill,” Reid said.

Sessions said Feinstein is negotiating a potential compromise with the ranking Republican on the Agriculture Committee, Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia.