President Obama is expected to meet Tuesday with labor and business leaders to discuss his plan for immigration reform. (Photo : Reuters)
The road to immigration reform once again goes through Capitol Hill Tuesday as business leaders and labor union reps debate how to fix the immigration system--a guest worker program being one of the things they will consider.
The inclusion of a guest worker program package is the goal of the group consisting of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO in order for the bipartisan group of U.S. Senators--known as the "Gang of Eight"--to include that proposal in their recently proposed immigration legislation within the next several weeks.
Meanwhile, President Obama continues his push for immigration on the same day with a separate meeting he plans to hold with labor and business leaders to push his immigration proposal, which he announced last month, that would feature providing undocumented immigrants in the U.S. a pathway to citizenship.
The organizations that President Obama will meet with Tuesday include the AFL-CIO, SEIU, NAACP, the National Council of la Raza, the center for American Progress, the National Immigration Law Center, United We Dream, and the National Immigration Forum, among others.
Progress and consensus on immigrations proposals will be key in getting an immigration bill to move past the U.S. House of Representatives, which is controlled by the Republican Party. There has been indication from some GOP legislators that they oppose a path of citizenship, as they view it as offering amnesty to undocumented immigrants.
However, the pressure has been on the GOP to change their outlook on immigration after getting hammered in the election polls in November by Latino voters who cast their ballots for President Obama over Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney--the latter whom spoke of adopting stringent immigration policies that would force such immigrants to "self-deport."
U.S. Rep Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., who has opposed a path to citizenship for several years, told USA Today on Monday that he is still hesitant on adopting any legislation involving such a path, but would be open to the bipartisan Senate plan that allows undocumented immigrants to apply for permanent legal status once the border is secure.
Discussion is also expected in the House on granting more STEM -based visas for skilled workers with degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Representatives from the technology sector have been calling for a solution to immigration that allows tech companies in the U.S. to keep such workers in the country rather than losing them to oversees companies.