Immigration Reform

A bill toughening immigration law and tightening border security will be brought to the floor of the U.S. House this week. The Judiciary Committee approved the legislation bringing it one step closer to becoming law. But Houston Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee opposes the proposed changes to immigration policy.

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Lawmakers have introduced dozens of bills this year trying to secure the nation's borders, create temporary guest worker programs and crack down on the hiring of illegal immigrants. As a compromise, Republican Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner combined law enforcement provisions with a border security bill from the Homeland Security Committee. But his attempt did not satisfy Congresswoman Jackson Lee.

Jackson Lee and other Democrats expressed concerns at a Judiciary committee debate on Sensenbrenner's bill.

Sensenbrenner and Jackson Lee did agree on one amendment proposed by the Houston democrat. Sensenbrenner called her proposal establishing a special task force for coordinating and distributing information on fraudulent immigration documents a constructive addition to the bill.

Sensenbrenner's bill passed the committee with votes down party lines. Republicans for temporary guest worker programs say they have faith those provisions will be entered into the bill when the House and Senate meet to negotiate differences. The bill is expected to pass the House Wednesday and signifies an end of the year victory for House Republicans.

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