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THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Location: Douglas, Coffee Co., The Other Georgia, United States

Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Industries Switch Focus to Piecemeal Approach to Immigration - Trade Groups Try to Salvage Smaller, Narrowly Drawn Relief for Businesses

From The Wall Street Journal:

Industry groups that have pressed for new immigration laws are trying to determine whether they can salvage smaller, narrowly drawn relief for their businesses from the collapse of the broad immigration legislation in Congress.

Their hopes are dim. Many Democrats say they don't want to ease problems only for certain industries, as that would eliminate their leverage in pressing House Republicans to reverse their opposition to a wider overhaul.

With no congressional relief on the way, some businesses are wondering if President Barack Obama can help solve their problems through administrative action. They are also considering whether the time has come to break the compact that has bound their interests together to push for a sweeping immigration rewrite, and instead lobby for industry-specific measures.
 
"One of the things that's likely to be discussed is whether or not an incremental approach is more viable from a legislative perspective," said Geoff Burr, vice president of government affairs for Associated Builders and Contractors, who noted there were valid concerns about that approach.
 
The National Milk Producers Federation said it would look for solutions to its problems finding year-round workers under the current agricultural-visa system, which provides permits only for seasonal jobs. Initially, the group will see if it can assuage farmers' worries about government raids and deportations through administrative action by Mr. Obama, said Jim Mulhern, president of the group, which still backs a broad overhaul.
 
Mr. Obama on Monday declared the long-debated immigration push dead for the year, after House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) said his chamber wouldn't vote on it. The president vowed to take action on his own. While Mr. Obama has some powers to adjust immigration policy—he is looking at shielding more illegal immigrants from deportation, for example—the broadest changes require congressional approval.
 
Traditionally, Democrats have resisted any efforts to pass bills for specific sectors independent of a broad overhaul. The disintegration of this year's push isn't likely to change their stance. They fear that one provision important to them—granting legal status to many of the nation's estimated 11 million illegal immigrants—would be left behind under a piecemeal approach.

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