From The Morning Grind
House Republican leaders this morning will announce the newest round of field hearings on illegal immigration that will take place in 12 states over the August recess.
The House and Senate remain at loggerheads over how to address the illegal immigration issue, a dispute that also pits House Republican leaders against President Bush. Specifically, House Republicans oppose a Bush/Senate backed plan that would create a system to allow current illegal immigrants living in the U.S. an opportunity to gain citizenship. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Illinois), just back from a fact-finding mission to the Southern border, will reiterate his opposition to the proposal when he unveils the new border hearing schedule.
"Before we can look at other immigration issues, we must first secure our borders," Hastert will say, according to an advanced copy of his remarks obtained by the Grind. "I am disappointed that the Democrats support a plan for open borders and a plan for amnesty. Their plan is just plain unacceptable."
Hastert will also emphasize Republicans' belief that "border security is an issue of national security," a GOP theme that is expected to be echoed on the campaign trail in the closing months of the 2006 campaign.
"It is not a secret that terrorists and drug runners -- who want to do us harm -- are trying to find ways into our country, and I believe we must first do everything we can to stop them," Hastert will say. A complete list of House hearings Judiciary Committee San Diego, CA on August 2nd -- How do illegal immigrants impact the costs of healthcare, local education, and other social services, and would these costs increase under Reid-Kennedy immigration bill?
El Paso, TX on August 17th -- What is the financial impact of illegal immigration on communities along the U.S. border, and could these costs rise under the Reid-Kennedy bill? What is the impact on efforts to extend a border security fence under the Reid-Kennedy bill's requirements regarding consultation with the Mexican Government? Will efforts to limit illegal immigration be inhibited by the Reid-Kennedy bill's provisions relating to local law enforcement?
Concord, NH on August 24th -- How do illegal immigrants impact the costs of healthcare, local education, and other social services, and would these costs increase under Reid-Kennedy immigration bill? What is the societal impact of the Reid-Kennedy bill's grant of amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants?
Upstate New York on August 25th -- What are the current risks of terrorists, narcotics smugglers, and human traffickers infiltrating the United States, and what role do secure identification documents play in limiting those risks? Does the Reid-Kennedy bill undermine efforts to limit those risks?
Evansville, IN on August 29th -- How are U.S. workers impacted, and potentially displace by the Reid-Kennedy bill?
Dubuque, IA on September 1st -- Do the Reid-Kennedy bill's amnesty provisions repeat the mistakes of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986?
Armed Services Committee
Selfridge Air National Guard Base, MI on August 1st -- What are the unique challenges for the Department of Defense in supporting border enforcement along the Northern Border?
Yuma Marine Corps Air Station, AZ on August 2nd -- What are the operational and training impacts of a porous border on military bases along the border?
Homeland Security Committee
Bellingham, WA on August 8th -- What are the border infrastructure successes since passage of the REAL ID Act and the 9/11 Commission Implementation Act, and what challenges still exist?
Austin, TX on August 17th -- What are the criminal consequences of illegal immigration along the Southern Border?
Sierra Vista, AZ on August 17th -- What is the state of technical surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities for monitoring the efforts of terrorists and drug cartels to infiltrate American soil through the Southern border?
Grand Rapids, MI on August 23rd -- What is the threat to the United States from Islamic extremists who abuse the legal immigration system?
Education and the Workforce Committee
Plano, TX on July 31st -- Does the Reid-Kennedy bill weaken employment verification systems, making it easier for illegal immigrants to find work inside American borders?
Gainesville, GA on August 14th -- What is the impact on American workers and businesses of the Reid-Kennedy bill's provisions mandating Davis-Bacon wage rates for guest-workers?
Energy and Commerce Committee
Nashville, TN on August 10th -- What is the impact of the Reid-Kennedy bill's amnesty provisions on the health care delivery system and for individual American taxpayers?
Dalton, GA on August 15th -- What is the impact of the Reid-Kennedy bill's amnesty provisions on the health care delivery system and for individual American taxpayers?
Government Reform Committee
San Diego, CA on August 14th -- What is the impact on state and local governments, in terms of both societal costs such as policing and direct government costs such as health care and welfare benefits, of illegal immigration? Would the Reid-Kennedy bill impose huge unfunded mandates on state and local governments?
Santee, CA on August 5th -- What efforts need to be undertaken to prevent federal public lands from being harmed as they are used as a pathway for illegal immigration? Does the Reid-Kennedy bill compromise our federal lands?
Hamilton, MT on August 28th -- What efforts need to be undertaken to secure the federal lands along the Northern border to prevent drug trafficking and other illegal activities? Could the Reid-Kennedy bill make these efforts more difficult?