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Monday, February 28, 2011

Last Updated on Monday, February 28, 2011 at 9:00 am EST
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Efforts to Prevent Government Shutdown, a Hearing on Race and Immigration, and a Multitude of Hearings on President Obama's FY '12 Budget Submission Highlight a Heavy Load of Congressional Immigration and Refugee Action in the Coming Week


By Micheal E. Hill
Monday, February 28, 2011  -- 9:00 am EST

--Updated on Monday, February 28, 2011, at 5:15 pm EST--
--Original Version Posted on Friday, February 25, 2011, at 5:45 pm EST--

Congress will continue in immigration and refugee overdrive this week as the House and Senate return from a week-long recess to begin a three week-long work period that will be filled with fiscal drama.

The most pressing issue facing Congress this week is whether and how it will avoid a shutdown of the Federal government, which is scheduled to occur at Midnight on Friday, March 4, unless the House, the Senate, and the White House can come to an agreement on a short-term stop-gap fiscal year 2011 funding measure.
  Among the operations of the federal government that are set to be shutdown unless Congress acts are USCIS's immigration services; ICE's interior immigration enforcement; CBP's border security;  PRM's refugee admissions and assistance; and ORR's refugee, asylum, torture victim assistance, trafficking victim assistance, and unaccompanied alien child assistance functions.  As the week begins, the House and Senate are expected to pass a two week-long short-term continuing appropriations measure that will avoid a government shutdown.

In addition to acting to prevent a shutdown of the federal government, a House Judiciary Committee panel will conduct a hearing this week that wades into the divisive issue of race and immigration, and no less than ten committees or subcommittees of the House and Senate will hold hearings this week on various immigration- or refugee-related aspects of President Obama's fiscal year 2012 budget submission.

As if all of that was not a busy-enough immigration- and refugee-related agenda for the week, at the time of this writing, the possibility loomed that the Senate could launch into an immigration policy debate if it takes up its version of the
House-passed version of H.R. 1, the Fiscal Year 2011 Fiscal Year 2011 Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Resolution.  Not only could the Senate debate the controversial immigration- and refugee-related budget cuts that are included in the House-passed version of that measure.  But if the Senate takes up the measure, the Senate floor also could be opened up to a debate on other, more controversial immigration policy issues such as E-Verify, the Diversity Visa program, funding for the Department of Justice lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Arizona's controversial S.B. 1070 immigration enforcement law, and the issue of birthright citizenship.


On-the-Hill Activity
As is always the case, in addition to this week's "On the Hill" legislative activities, a host of "off of the Hill" immigration- and refugee-related activities also are taking place this week.

The following lists several highlights of this week's possible immigration- and refugee-related legislative-related action:
  • Prevention of a Shutdown of the Operations of the Federal Government.  One of the first orders of business for Congress upon its return to Washington this week will be the enactment of legislation to prevent a shutdown of the operations of the Federal government, including preventing a shutdown of the federal government's immigration-, refugee-, and border security-related functions.  Congress must act to enact a short-term, stop-gap continuing appropriations resolution by Midnight on Friday, March 4, in order to prevent a government shutdown.
The House Republican Leadership has released a draft of H.J. Res. 44, a joint resolution that would continue fiscal year 2011 spending through Friday, March 18, 2011, while making $4 BILLION in spending cuts relative to fiscal year 2010.  None of the $4 BILLION in cuts would come from refugee admissions, overseas refugee assistance, refugee resettlement, or immigration service functions or programs.  Democrats in the Senate are expected to go along with the House action.

House floor action on the draft measure is scheduled to occur on Tuesday, March 1.  Senate floor action on it will likely occur later in the week.
  • Possible Senate Floor Consideration of the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Appropriations Resolution.  While it appears unlikely that it will do so this week, the Senate could at any time take up its version of H.R. 1, the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Appropriations Resolution.  The U.S. House of Representatives approved the House-passed version of H.R. 1 on Saturday, February 19.  The House-passed measure would make deep cuts in funding for refugee admissions, overseas refugee assistance, and refugee resettlement programs.  In addition it would bar funding for immigration integration, and it would relax existing restrictions on funding of fencing along the U.S. border with Mexico.  Because of the freewheeling nature of Senate debates, should the Senate take up its version of H.R. 1, it could be faced with a number of unrelated immigration enforcement policy floor amendments to the measure.
  • House Judiciary Committee Hearing on Race and Immigration.  The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Policy has scheduled a hearing for this week to examine the impact of immigration on minorities in the United States.
  • Secretary Napolitano Testimony on the Administration's Fiscal Year 2012 Budget for the Department of Homeland Security.  Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano is scheduled to take to Capitol Hill in the coming week to testify before three House or Senate committees to defend President Obama's fiscal year 2012 budget submission for the Department of Homeland Security.
  • Secretary Clinton Testimony on the Administration's Fiscal Year 2012 Budget for Foreign Affairs.  Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is scheduled to testify before four committees in the coming week on the Administration's fiscal year 2012 budget submission for the Department of foreign affairs, including the Administration's submission for refugee admissions, overseas refugee assistance, and emergency refugee assistance programs.

"Off-of-the-Hill" Activity

In addition to the heavy schedule of immigration-related action taking place this week on Capitol Hill, a number of significant "off of the Hill" immigration-related activities also are occurring, including a Center for American Progress (CAP) and America's Voice  discussion on "Spanish-Language Media and the Issues that Moves Latino Voters" and an Aspen Institute will roundtable discussion titled "Department of Homeland Security: Year Eight" that will include Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and former Secretaries of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and Tom Ridge


Click Here to See a Listing of the Likely Immigration Action For the Week of February 28

 

The Subject of Immigration is Again Unlikely to Come Up on This
Weekend's Sunday's Public Affairs Programs


By Micheal E. Hill

Friday, February 25, 2011  -- 5:45 pm EST
--Updated on Friday, February 25, 2011, at 7:05 pm EST--

 

The fiscal crises facing the federal government and numerous states, as well as the continuing deterioration of governments in the Middle East, are expected to be the top issues of discussion during the coming weekend's Sunday public affairs programs.

To the extent that the subject of immigration does come up on this weekend's public affairs programs, the most likely venues for such discussions are on NBC's "Meet the Press" program, which will feature an interview with Senator John McCain (R-AZ), and ABC's "This Week" program, which will have as one of its guests Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R-AZ).

The following is a complete guide to what can be expected on this weekend's programs:
  • ABC - This Week.  Among the guests on the February 27, 2011, edition of  ABC's "This Week" program will be Governors Nikki Haley (R-SC), Deval Patrick (D-MA),  Jan Brewer (R-AZ), and John Hickenlooper (D-CO).  Given the appearance by Governor Brewer, the subject of immigration could come up during the program.
  • CBS - Face the Nation.  Among the guests on the February 27, 2011, edition of CBS's "Face the Nation" program will be New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ).  Given the lineup of guests, it is unlikely that the subject of immigration will come up during the program.
  • CNN - State of the Union.  Among the guests on the February 27, 2011, edition of CNN's "State of the Union" program are Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT), who will discuss developments in the Middle East.  Also appearing on the program will be Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND), Florida Governor Rick Scott (R-FL), and Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy (D-CT), who will discuss budget matters.  Finally, the program will interview economist Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics and Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the former director of the Congressional Budget Office.  Despite the appearance by Senator McCain, the subject of immigration is unlikely to be discussed on the program.
  • FOX - FOX News Sunday.  Among the guests appearing on the February 27 2011, edition of FOX's "FOX News Sunday" will be Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (R-IN) and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR), both potential candidates for the 2011 Republican presidential nomination.  Appearing on the roundtable discussion segment of the program will be Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard and Fox News; Dana Perino, Press Secretary for President George W. Bush; Mara Liaisson of National Public Radio and Fox News; and Fox News Political Analyst Juan Williams
  • NBC - Meet the Press.  Appearing on the February 27, 2011, edition of NBC's "Meet the Press" will be Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R-WI).  Appearing during the roundtable segment of the program will be Former head of the RNC, Governor Haley Barbour (R-MS); chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO); host of MSNBC's "The Last Word," Lawrence O'Donnell; president of the AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka; and editorial board member and columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Kim Strassel.  Given the appearance by Senator McCain, the subject of immigration could come up during the interview segment of the program.

MicEvHill.Com will post any immigration-related video excerpts from the programs beginning late afternoon on Sunday, February 27.

 

Congress is in Midst of a Week-Long Recess with a Heavy Immigration- and Refugee-Related Agenda Awaiting Upon Its Return


By Micheal E. Hill
Monday, February 21, 2011  -- 1:20 pm EST
--Updated on Thursday, February 24, 2011, at 8:55 am EST--
 
Congress is in the midst of a week-long recess. 

The U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate will return to Washington on Monday, February 28.  Upon its return, Congress will remain in session through Friday, March 18, at which time the House and Senate will begin another week-long recess.

Likely Immigration and Refugee Legislative Agenda When Congress Returns
Immigration and refugee matters will continue to be hot issues once Congress returns from its week-long President's Day recess.

The following is a listing of some of the likely immigration- and refugee-related issues that Congress likely will deal with during the three week-long work period that is scheduled to begin on February 28:

  • Upcoming Senate Immigration Policy Debate?  Shortly after it returns from its week-long President's Day recess, the full Senate could take up its version of H.R. 1, a House-passed bill that combines a fiscal year 2011 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill with a full year fiscal year 2011 continuing appropriations measure.  If the full Senate takes up its version of H.R. 1, it is possible that it will face a number of immigration policy amendments that senators will offer to the measure. This is likely, in part, because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have reached a deal on expediting matters through the Senate that calls on Majority Leader Reid to refrain from blocking Republican amendments to measures pending on the Senate floor in return for Minority Leader McConnell refraining from filibustering motions to proceed to the consideration of measures.
The last time the Senate took up and conducted a full debate on a non-supplemental appropriations measure was in July of 2009, when it considered H.R. 2892, the Fiscal Year 2010 Homeland Security Appropriations Act.  During that debate, the full Senate considered five immigration policy-related amendments, adopting four of them.  Among the amendments that the Senate adopted at that time was an amendment by then Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Minority Member Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to permanently reauthorize the E-Verify System and require all federal contractors to use it; an amendment by now-Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking-Minority Member Charles Grassley (R-IA)to require employers that participate in the E-Verify System to verify the employment eligibility of existing employees through the System; an amendment by Senator David Vitter (R-LA) to require the expedited completion of the construction of fencing along the U.S. border with Mexico; and an amendment by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to make the EB-5 Regional Center program permanent.

The Senate adopted all four of the above immigration policy amendments, despite the fact that they constituted legislating on an appropriations bill, in spite of the fact that Democrats controlled the chamber at that time margin of 60-40, and without the requirement of a 60-vote super majority on any of them.  With the House under the control of Democrats, all four amendments were jettisoned in the ensuing conference between the House and Senate.

It was unclear at the time of this writing what, if any, immigration- or refugee-related policy amendments that senators will seek to offer to H.R. 1 when it comes to the Senate floor.
  • Fiscal Year 2011 Funding for Refugee Admissions, Assistance, and Resettlement.  Shortly after it returns from its week-long President's Day recess, the full Senate is expected to take up its version of H.R. 1, a House-passed bill that combines a fiscal year 2011 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill with a full year fiscal year 2011 continuing appropriations measure.  As passed by the House, H.R. 1 would make $65.5 BILLION in cuts in "non-security" discretionary spending relative to fiscal year 2010 appropriations and approximately $100 BILLION in total cuts relative to the Obama Administration's fiscal year 2011 budget request. 

    With regard to refugee admissions and overseas refugee assistance, the House-passed version of H.R. 1 would cut fiscal year 2011 funding for those programs by $827 MILLION, from $1.850 BILLION that was appropriated in fiscal year 2010 to $1.023 BILLION in fiscal year 2011. This would constitute a 44.8 percent reduction in fiscal year 2011 funding relative to fiscal year 2010.  With regard to the Department of State’s Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance (ERMA) Fund, the House-passed version of H.R. 1 would appropriate $44.635 MILLION for the fund, which is just under the $45 MILLION that was appropriated for the fund in fiscal year 2010.  With regard to refugee resettlement, trafficking victim assistance, torture victim assistance, and the care of unaccompanied alien children, the House-passed version of H.R. 1 would reduce appropriations available to those programs by $77 MILLION, effectively cutting the appropriation from $730.928 MILLION that was appropriated in fiscal year 2010 to $653.928 MILLION. This would constitute a reduction of 10.5 percent.  As a technical matter, H.R. 1 would continue fiscal year 2011 spending for the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s Refugee and Entrant Assistance account at $730.928 MILLION, the same amount that was appropriated for fiscal year 2010. However, it would rescind $77 MILLION of appropriated but unobligated fiscal year 2010 ORR funding, thus reducing the available funding for the program by $77 MILLION.

    At the time of this writing, it was not known what the level of funding for refugee programs will be in the version of H.R. 1 that Senate appropriators will put before the full Senate.  However, early indications are that Senate appropriators intend to provide spending at fiscal year 2010 levels in their measure. 

    The ultimate level of fiscal year 2011 spending for refugee programs will be the product of a tough negotiation between House Republicans, Senate Democrats, and the White House.   Negotiators have a March 4, 2011, deadline for completing the negotiations, a deadline that they are not expected to meet.  Instead, funding for fiscal year 2011 programs are expected to be continued for a brief period past March 4 in a short-term, stop-gap spending resolution that will be negotiated during the first week after Congress returns from the President's Day recess.
  • House Judiciary Committee Hearings on Immigration Policy.  The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement could hold as many as three hearings during the month of March highlighting various aspects of immigration policy.  The hearings likely will focus on the impact of both legal and illegal immigration on employment in the United States.  The first hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, March 1, and it will focus on the impact of low-skilled immigration on minorities in the United States.
  • House Homeland Security Committee Hearings on Radical Moslem Terrorists in the U.S. The House Committee on Homeland Security is planning to hold a series of hearings beginning in March "examining al Qaeda’s coordinated radicalization and recruitment of people within the American Muslim community."  At the time of this writing, the witness lists for the hearings had not yet been revealed.
  • House Appropriations Hearings on the FY '12 Homeland Security Budget.  The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security is expected to conduct four hearings during the month of March to examine various immigration- and border security-related aspects of President Obama's fiscal year 2012 budget submission.  Among the Subcommittee's anticipated hearings is a March 2, 2011, hearing at which Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano is expected to testify; a March 9, 2011, hearing at which Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) John Morton is expected to testify; a March 11, 2011, hearing at which  officials from the Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Bureau are expected to testify; and a March 17, 2011, hearing on security on the U.S. Southwest border at which Michael J. Fisher, Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol Chief, Thomas S. Winkowski, Assistant Commissioner for the Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations, and other yet-to-be-named witnesses from the Department of Homeland Security are expected to testify.
  • Hearings on the Department of State's Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Request.  The House Committee on Foreign Affairs and Senate Committee on Foreign Relations have scheduled hearings for March on the Obama Administration's Fiscal Year 2012 foreign assistance budget, at which Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is expected to testify.

Click Here for the Likely Immigration Legislative Agenda that Lies Just "Over the Horizon"



House Passes FY '11 Continuing Appropriations Bill Making
Deep Cuts to Refugee Programs and Setting Up a Confrontation with Senate Democrats and the White House


By Micheal E. Hill
Saturday, February 19, 2011  -- 8:25 am EST


The full House of Representatives has passed a Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Appropriations Resolution making deep cuts in refugee admissions, overseas refugee assistance, and refugee resettlement programs, making cuts in funding for some border security efforts, barring funding for immigration integration, and relaxing existing restrictions on funding for fencing along the U.S. border with Mexico.  House action occurred in connection with H.R. 1, a bill that combined a fiscal year 2011 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill with a full year fiscal year 2011 continuing appropriations measure.  The House took up the measure beginning on Tuesday, February 15, 2011, passing it in the wee hours of the morning on Saturday, February 19, by a vote of 235-189.  The House action has set up a confrontation of mythical proportions between it on one side and the Senate and President Obama on the other side, with the stakes being a possibly politically perilous shutdown of the operations of the Federal government.  The Senate Democratic Leadership has indicated that many of the provisions in the House version of H.R. 1 are unacceptable, and President Obama's Administration on Tuesday, February 15, threatened to veto the measure if it were to reach his desk in its current state.


Consideration of Amendments
The House took up H.R. 1 under procedures permitting any Member to offer an amendment to the bill so long as the amendment was germane and that it was filed in the Congressional record by Wednesday, February 16.  In the end, 583 amendments were filed, the House took up 153 of them, and it adopted 67 of them.  Just under 40 of the amendments that were filed to the bill would have had a significant consequence on immigration or refugee policy or spending.  Few of those amendments were actually offered, and the only immigration-tinged amendment that the House adopted was one by Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) that would cut $510 MILLION in funding for the Department of Homeland Security's Science, and Technology, Research, Development, Acquisition, and Operations account in order to restore funding for
Community-Oriented Policing Services (COPS), Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG), and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) programs.

One of the most controversial immigration-related amendments that was filed to the bill was an amendment by Representative Robert Goodlatte (R-VA) to bar funding in the bill for processing diversity visas.  Representative Goodlatte never offered the amendment.  Two of the other controversial immigration-related amendments were ones filed by Representative Ted Poe (R-TX) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) that sought to bar funding for the Department of Justice lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Arizona's controversial S.B. 1070 immigration enforcement law.  Representative Poe offered his amendment to the bill.  However, it was ruled out of order because it was deemed that it violated House rules that prohibit adding a legislative provision to an appropriations bill.

Other amendments that threatened the agenda of the pro-immigration or pro-refugee advocacy communities would have made across-the-board cuts in programs funded by H.R. 1.  Among the cuts that would have been made by those amendments were even deeper cuts in refugee admissions, overseas refugee assistance, and refugee resettlement programs.  Several such amendments were offered, but the House defeated all of them.



Background
Congress must enact a new continuing appropriations resolution into law by March 4, 2011, in order to prevent a shutdown of almost all of the federal government.  This is so because the 111th Congress reached a stalemate and was unable to enact any of the 12 regular appropriations bills that fund the federal government's activities before it adjourned.  Instead, the 11th Congress opted to give the new Congress time to work on the long-term fiscal year 2011 spending measures and only enacted a short-term continuing appropriations bill that funded the activities of the federal government through March 4.

Among the federal agencies, programs, and activities that have yet to receive final fiscal year 2011 funding are the agencies that operate the federal government's immigration control, immigration services, refugee admissions, overseas refugee assistance, and refugee resettlement functions.

It is widely believed that Congress will be unable to complete action on H.R. 1 before the March 4 deadline, necessitating enactment of at least one more short-term continuing appropriations resolution.  House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has said that House Republicans will not pass or accept another short-term continuing appropriations resolution that continues fiscal year  2011 spending at fiscal year 2010 levels, asserting that the next CR must actually cut spending below fiscal year 2010 level in order for the House GOP to accept it.


General Outline of the Measure
Prior to considering amendments to H.R. 1, the measure would have made $65.5 BILLION in cuts in "non-security" discretionary spending relative to fiscal year 2010 appropriations and approximately $100 BILLION in total cuts relative to the Obama Administration's fiscal year 2011 budget request.

The measure is organized into four divisions.  Division B comprises the Full-Year Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Appropriations Resolution, and it is divided into 12 titles, with one (Title 1) containing general provisions and each of the remaining 11 titles comprising appropriations for each of the 11 appropriations subcommittees (other than Defense).

With regard to the titles of Subdivision B that contain the bulk of the measure's immigration- and refugee-related provisions:
  • The Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Title, which funds the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) and other Department of Justice immigration-related entities is found in Title III of Division B.
  • The Homeland Security Title, which funds appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security, including US-VISIT, ICE, CBP, and USCIS, is found in Title VI of Subdivision B.
  • The Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Title, which funds appropriations for the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), is found in Title VIII of Subdivision B.
  • The State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Title, which funds the Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) and that bureau's refugee admissions, overseas refugee assistance, and Emergency Refugees and Migration Assistance (ERMA) accounts, is found in Title XI of Subdivision B.

Summary of Immigration- and Refugee-Related Provisions 
From a refugee and immigration perspective, H.R. 1 contains the following provisions:
  • Executive Office for Immigration Review. With specific regard to funding for the Executive Office for Immigration Review, the House-passed version of H.R. 1 is silent, which means that it would continue funding for the Department of Justice’s Administrative Review and Appeals, the parent account for EOIR, at fiscal year 2010 levels, which was approximately $300.685 MILLION.
  • Refugee Admissions and Overseas Refugee Assistance. With regard to refugee admissions and overseas refugee assistance, the House-passed version of H.R. 1 would cut fiscal year 2011 funding for those programs by $827 MILLION, from $1.850 BILLION that was appropriated in fiscal year 2010 to $1.023 BILLION in fiscal year 2011. This would constitute a 44.8 percent reduction in fiscal year 2011 funding relative to fiscal year 2010.
  • Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance. With regard to the Department of State’s Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance (ERMA) Fund, the House-passed version of H.R. 1 would appropriate $44.635 MILLION for the fund, which is just under the $45 MILLION that was appropriated for the fund in fiscal year 2010.
  • Refugee Resettlement, Torture and Trafficking Victim Assistance, and Care of Unaccompanied Alien Children.  With regard to refugee resettlement, trafficking victim assistance, torture victim assistance, and the care of unaccompanied alien children, the House-passed version of H.R. 1 would reduce appropriations available to those programs by $77 MILLION, effectively cutting the appropriation from $730.928 MILLION that was appropriated in fiscal year 2010 to $653.928 MILLION. This would constitute a reduction of 10.5 percent.

    As a technical matter, H.R. 1 would continue fiscal year 2011 spending for the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s Refugee and Entrant Assistance account at $730.928 MILLION, the same amount that was appropriated for fiscal year 2010. However, it would rescind $77 MILLION of appropriated but unobligated fiscal year 2010 ORR funding, thus reducing the available funding for the program by $77 MILLION.
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. With regard to the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the House-passed version of H.R. 1 would increase fiscal year 2011 funding for USCIS by $41.2 MILLION, from $234.6 MILLION in directly appropriated funds in fiscal year 2010 to $275.776 MILLION in fiscal year 2011. This would represent an increase of 17.6 percent in fiscal year 2011 relative to fiscal year 2010.
Within the USCIS appropriation, the House-passed version of H.R. 1 would provide the following earmarks and limitations:
 
Immigrant Integration. H.R. 1 would prohibit using any USCIS directly appropriated fiscal year 2011 funds for immigrant integration. The fiscal year 2010 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill contained no specific earmark for immigrant integration and contained no prohibition on the use of funds for that purpose.

Refugee and Asylum Processing. H.R. 1 would increase funding for processing applications for asylum and refugee status by $101.376, from $50 MILLION in fiscal year 2010 to $151.376 MILLION in fiscal year 2011.
 
E-Verify Program. H.R. 1 would cut funding for the E-Verify program by $33.6 MILLION, from $137 MILLION in fiscal year 2010 to $103.4 MILLION in fiscal year 2011. This would represent a decrease of 24.5 percent in fiscal year 2011 relative to fiscal year 2010.
  • Border Security. With specific regard to Border Enforcement, H.R. 1 would appropriate roughly the same amount of funding in fiscal year 2011 for DHS’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Directorate as was appropriated in fiscal year 2010.
Within the CBP appropriation, H.R. 1 would provide the following directives:

Border Patrol Staffing. H.R. 1 provides that the Border Patrol shall maintain an active duty presence of not fewer than 20,500 full-time equivalent agents.

Border Fencing. H.R. 1 would reduce funding for border fencing by $350 MILLION in comparison to fiscal year 2010.  The measure, as well, would ease some of the restrictions that the Fiscal Year 2010 Homeland Security Appropriations Act placed on the Administration’s authority to build fencing along the U.S. border with Mexico.
  • Interior Immigration Enforcement. With specific regard to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Directorate, H.R. 1 would appropriate roughly the same amount of funding in fiscal year 2011 for ICE as was appropriated in fiscal year 2010.
Within the ICE appropriation, H.R. 1 would provide the following directives:

Detention Beds. H.R. 1 provides that ICE shall maintain a level of not fewer than 33,400 detention beds throughout fiscal year 2011.


Next Steps
Now that the U.S. House of Representatives has passed its version of H.R. 1, the next step in the legislative process is for the Senate to take up the measure.  Since the Senate is joining the House in a week-long recess beginning on Monday, February 21, that cannot happen until the week of February 28, the week that current funding for the operations of the federal government is scheduled to run out.

The Senate Democratic leadership has severely criticized the House-passed version of H.R. 1, saying that they plan to bring a bill before the Senate that would continue funding for programs at about the level of funding that those programs received in fiscal year 2010.  The Senate Republican Leadership, on the other hand, has asserted that Senate Republicans will support the level of fiscal year 2011 funding contained in the House-passed version of H.R. 1 but will want to reconfigure the specific cuts in spending contained in the measure. 

The Senate is expected to take up its version of H.R. 1 during the week of February 28.  It is possible that numerous immigration-related policy and spending amendments will be offered to that measure and that it will occupy weeks of Senate floor time there.  In the meantime, a short-term continuing appropriations resolution will likely be necessary.


Click Here for the Text of President Obama's Threat to Veto H.R. 1
Click Here for a Summary of the Immigration & Refugee Related Amendments to H.R. 1
Click Here for the Text of All of the Amendments Filed to H.R. 1
Click Here for the Text of H.R. 1, As Introduced



The Subject of Immigration is Unlikely to Come Up on This
Weekend's Sunday's Public Affairs Programs


By Micheal E. Hill

Saturday, February 19, 2011  -- 12:01 am EST


 

The subject of immigration is unlikely to come up on this weekend's public affairs programs, as  they will continue to be dominated by events in the Middle East and the upcoming showdown on fiscal year 2011 spending.

To the extent that the subject of immigration does come up on this weekend's public affairs programs, the most likely venues for such discussions are on CNN's "State of the Union" programs, which on which Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) are scheduled to appear; and on NBC's "Meet the Press" program, which will feature interviews with Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

The following is a complete guide to what can be expected on this weekend's programs:
  • ABC - This Week.  Among the guests on the February 20, 2011, edition of  ABC's "This Week" program will be Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. 
  • CBS - Face the Nation.  Among the guests on the February 20, 2011, edition of CBS's "Face the Nation" program will be House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), the panel's Ranking Minority Member.  Given the lineup of guests, it is unlikely that the subject of immigration will come up during the program.
  • CNN - State of the Union.  Among the guests on the February 20, 2011, edition of CNN's "State of the Union" program will be  Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Minority Member Richard Lugar (R-IN), and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.  Given the appearance by Senator Schumer, the subject of immigration could come up during the program.
  • C-SPAN - Newsmakers.  The February 20, 2011, edition of C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" program will feature an interview with House Republican Study Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).
  • FOX - FOX News Sunday.  Among the guests appearing on the February 20, 2011, edition of FOX's "FOX News Sunday" will be embattled Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R-WI), Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), and Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO).  Appearing on the roundtable discussion segment of the program will be Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard and Fox News; Liz Cheney, Former State Department Official and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney; Mara Liaisson of National Public Radio and Fox News; and Fox News Political Analyst Juan Williams
  • NBC - Meet the Press.  Appearing on the February 20, 2011, edition of NBC's "Meet the Press" will be Assistant Senate Majority Leader Richard Durbin (D-IL), Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and United States Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice.  Appearing during the roundtable segment of the program will be former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm (D-MI), former Representative Harold Ford, Jr. (D-TN), Republican strategist Ed Gillespie, and CNBC's Rick Santelli.  Given the appearances by Senators Durbin and Graham, the subject of immigration could well come up during the program.

MicEvHill.Com will post any immigration-related video excerpts from the programs beginning late afternoon on Sunday, February 20.

 

The Senate Judiciary Committee Fills its Immigration Subcommittee Roster  for the 112th Congress


By Micheal E. Hill
Friday, February 18, 2011  -- 10:05 pm EST



The Senate Committee on the Judiciary has organized for the 112th Congress, adopting its rules and populating the rosters of its six subcommittees.  From an immigration and refugee perspective, the Committee announced the roster of its Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees, and Border Security, adding three new senators to the panel who were not on it during the 111th Congress.  The Committee's organizational meeting occurred on Thursday, February 17.


Size and Partisan Ratio on the Full Committee on the Judiciary
While Democrats have maintained a majority on the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, the ratio of Democrats-to-Republicans has been reduced due to the Democrats' loss of six seats in the 2010 mid-term elections.  The partisan ratio on the Committee has gone from 12-Democrats-to-7-Republicans during the 111th Congress to 10-Democrats-to-8-Republicans during the 112th Congress. 


Leadership Change on the Committee
The Leadership on the Senate Judiciary Committee has changed in the 112th Congress.  While Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) will continue chairing the panel, the new Ranking Minority Member on the Committee during the 112th Congress is Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA).  He replaced Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), who served as the panel's Top Republican during the 111th Congress. 

Senator Grassley's record on immigration and refugee matters in recent years has been very similar to that of Senator Sessions, in that they both have rarely voted in favor of the pro-immigrant advocacy community's positions on a key, contested immigration-related vote.  However, unlike with Senator Sessions, senator Grassley's record on immigration has undergone somewhat of a transformation over the years.  Senator Grassley was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1980.  Prior to September 11, 2001, he supported the positions of the pro-immigrant advocacy community in about 20 percent of the key, contested immigration- and refugee-related votes that he had cast.  Since then, however, he has only supported their positions about 3.7 percent of such votes that he has participated in.



Freshmen Assigned to the Committee
Three of the 16 freshmen who were elected to the Senate in the 2010 mid-term elections have been assigned to the Senate Committee on the judiciary.  Two are Democrats: Senators Christopher Coons (D-DE) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).  One is a Republican: Senator Mike Lee (R-UT).

Both Senators Coons and Blumenthal took positions during their senate campaigns that strongly support the positions of the pro-immigrant and pro-refugee advocacy communities and strongly opposed the positions of the immigration restrictionist community.  Senator Lee, on the other hand,
took positions during his Senate campaign that strongly opposed the positions of the pro-immigrant advocacy community.  Indeed, he made his support for the immigration restrictionist community's positions one of the main platforms of his campaign.

Roster of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary
112th Congress


Democrats (10) Republicans (8)
Leahy (D-VT) Grassley (R-IA)
Kohl (D-WI) Hatch (R-UT)
Feintein (D-CA)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Schumer (D-NY)
Session (R-AL)
Durbin (D-IL)
Graham (R-SC)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
*Lee (R-UT)
Franken (D-MN)
Coburn (R-OK)
*Coons (D-DE)

*Blumenthal (D-CT)

 


Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees, and Border Security
Subcommittees are much less consequential in the Senate than they are in the U.S. House of Representatives.  In the House, subcommittees hold both hearings and markups of legislation.  While they do sometimes hold hearings in the Senate, it is extraordinarily rare for a subcommittee to hold a markup session in the Senate.

The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees, and Border Security had nine members during the 111th Congress.  Five of the senators on the Subcommittee were Democrats and four were Republicans. The Subcommittee will have 11 senators on it during the 112th Congress.  Six of them are Democrats and five are Republicans.

The leadership of the Subcommittee will be identical during the 112th Congress to the leadership that existed during the 111th Congress, with Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) returning as the panel's Chairman and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) returning as its Ranking Minority Member.

New senators on the Subcommittee during the 112th Congress on the Democratic side of the aisle are Senators Al Franken (D-MN) and Richard Blumenthal.  New to the Subcommittee on the Republican side of the aisle is Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT).Three of the 16 freshmen who were elected to the Senate in the 2010 mid-term elections have been assigned to the Senate Committee on the judiciary.  Two are Democrats: Senators Christopher Coons (D-DE) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).  One is a Republican: Senator Mike Lee (R-UT).

Both Senators Coons and Blumenthal took positions during their senate campaigns that strongly support the positions of the pro-immigrant and pro-refugee advocacy communities and strongly opposed the positions of the immigration restrictionst community.  Senator Lee, on the other hand,
took positions during his Senate campaign that strongly opposed the positions of the pro-immigrant advocacy community.  Indeed, he made his support for the immigration restrictionist community's positions one of the main platforms of his campaign.


Roster of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration,
Refugees, and Border Security
112th Congress


Democrats (6)
Republicans (5)
Schumer (D-NY) Cornyn (R-TX)
Leahy (D-VT)
Grassley (R-IA)
Feinstein (D-CA)
*Hatch (R-UT)
Durbin (D-IL)
Kyl (R-AZ)
*Franken (D-MN)
Sessions (R-AL)
*Blumenthal (D-CT)





House Agrees to Debate 12 Amendments that Could Have Consequences for Immigration and Refugee Policy or Spending
as it Attempts to Complete Action on its FY '11
Continuing Appropriations Resolution 


By Micheal E. Hill
Friday, February 18, 2011  -- 4:25
am
--Updated on Friday, February 18, 2011, at 11:30 am EST--

The full House of Representatives is scheduled to begin its third (and possibly final) day of consideration of a wide-ranging fiscal year 2011 spending bill today, with expectations that it finally will turn its attention to a set of amendments that could have significant consequences for immigration and refugee policy and spending. 

The House is scheduled to resume consideration of
H.R. 1, its version of the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Appropriations Resolution, shortly after it convenes at  9:00 am EST on Friday, February 18.  While nearly 600 amendments were filed to H.R. 1 before the Wednesday, February 16 filing deadline, only 37 of them would likely have posed significant consequences for immigration or refugee policy if they were enacted into law.  That list was further narrowed in the pre-dawn hours of Friday, February 18, when the House agreed by unanimous consent to limit its further consideration of amendments to just 127 specified amendments, including about a dozen that would have consequences for immigration or refugee policy or spending if they enacted into law.  Seven of those 12 amendments deal with cuts in spending and five are policy-oriented.

Among the immigration policy-related amendments that the House is scheduled to consider today are ones that would bar the Department of Justice from pursuing its lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Arizona's S.B. 1070, prohibit assistance to nations opposing the United States' positions at the United Nations, prohibit payment of dues to the United Nations, and prohibit the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the United States.  Among the spending-related amendments that the House could take up are ones that would cut refugee funding as part of across-the-board cuts in a larger range of programs that are funded by the bill.

The following lists each of the immigration- or refugee-related amendments that the House could take up today, along with a link to the text of the amendment and an indication of the amount of time that has been set aside to debate it:


POLICY AMENDMENTS

Gohmert Amendment 120: Prohibit Assistance to Nations Opposing U.S. Positions at the UN (10 minutes)
Poe Amendment 199: Bar funding for litigating the lawsuit challenging S.B. 1070 (10 minutes)
Broun Amendment 263: Prohibit Dues to the United Nations (10 minutes)
Schock  Amendment 278: Prohibit transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the U.S. (20 minutes)
Kinzinger Amendment 445: Bar funding for litigating lawsuit challenging S.B. 1070 (10 minutes)


MONEY AMENDMENTS

Jordan Amendment 104
: 5.5 percent across-the-board cut (30 minutes)
Mulvaney Amendment 16: Cut funding for most accounts to FY '06 Levels (10 minutes)
Matheson Amendment 496: Cut Bill's Funding by an additional 600 MILLION (10 minutes)
Matheson Amendment 497: Cut Bill's Funding by an additional 280 MILLION (10 minutes)
Campbell Amendment 519: Cut the Bill's Funding by 3.5 percent (10 minutes)
LaTourette Amendment 540: Cut the bill's Funding by Various Amounts (30 minutes)
Schrader Amendment 552: Cut the bill's funding by various amounts (10 minutes)


H.R. 1 would make continuing appropriations for the operations of the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 2011. 

Congress must enact a new continuing appropriations resolution into law by March 4, 2011, in order to prevent a shutdown of almost all of the federal government.  This is so because the 111th Congress reached a stalemate and was unable to enact any of the 12 regular appropriations bills that fund the federal government's activities before it adjourned.  Instead, the 11th Congress opted to give the new Congress time to work on the long-term fiscal year 2011 spending measures and only enacted a short-term continuing appropriations bill that funded the activities of the federal government through March 4.

Among the federal agencies, programs, and activities that have yet to receive final fiscal year 2011 funding are the agencies that operate the federal government's immigration control, immigration services, refugee admissions, overseas refugee assistance, and refugee resettlement functions.


Among the many provisions in H.R. 1 are those that would
make deep cuts in funding for refugee admissions, overseas refugee assistance, and refugee resettlement programs.  In addition, the measure would bar funding for immigration integration, and it would relax existing restrictions on funding for fencing along the U.S. border with Mexico.

Today's expected House passage of H.R. 1 will only be the first step in what is likely to be an extended and contentious legislative process.  The Senate Democratic Leadership has indicated that many of the provisions in the House version of H.R. 1 are unacceptable, and President Obama's Administration on Tuesday threatened to veto the measure if it were to reach his desk in its current state.


Click Here for the Text of President Obama's Threat to Veto H.R. 1
Click Here for a Summary of the Immigration and Refugee Items in H.R. 1
Click Here for a Summary of the Immigration & Refugee Related Amendments to H.R. 1
Click Here for the Text of All of the Amendments Filed to H.R. 1
Click Here for the Text of H.R. 1, As Introduced

 

Controverisal Immigration Amendments Wait in the Wings As the House Attempts to Complete Consideration of its
FY '11 Continuing Appropriations Resolution 


By Micheal E. Hill
Thursday, February 17, 2011  -- 7:30 am


The full House of Representatives today is expected to turn its attention to a series of immigration-related amendments as it struggles to complete its consideration of H.R. 1, its version of the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Appropriations Resolution.  The House hopes to complete its consideration of the measure today.  However, it is possible that final House action on the measure may not occur until Friday, February 18. 

While
nearly 600 amendments were filed to H.R. 1 before the Wednesday, February 16 filing deadline, only 37 of them would likely have posed significant consequences for immigration or refugee policy if they were enacted into law.  The House is only expected to take up a handful of those amendments.

The following is a list of some of the more controversial immigration- or refugee-related amendments that are likely to be considered as the House attempts to wrap-up its action on the funding measure:
  • Prohibit the Processing of Diversity Visas.  Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) has filed an amendment that would prohibit the use of funds in the bill for processing visas under the Diversity Visa Program.
  • Bar  Funding for the Department of Justice Lawsuit Challenging Arizona's S.B. 1070.  Representatives Ted Poe (R-TX) and Adam Kinzinger (R-OH) have filed separate amendments that would prohibit funding to litigate the continuation of the Department of Justice lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Arizona's S.B. 1070 immigration enforcement law.
  • Prohibit Funding for Implementing Social Security Totalization Agreement with Mexico.  Representative Phil Gingrey (R-GA) has filed an amendment that would prohibit funding in the bill to pay the compensation of employees of the Social Security Administration to administer Social Security benefit payments under any agreement between the United States and Mexico establishing totalization arrangements between the social security systems of the two countries.
  • Further Across-the-Board Cuts in FY '11 Funding.  Numerous Representatives have filed numerous amendments that would make across-the-board cuts in fiscal year 2011 funding, based on the amounts that are contained in H.R.1.  The most likely of these to be offered is an amendment by Representative James Jordan (R-OH), which would make a 5.5 percent across-the-board cut in all programs in Title III, Title VII and Title XI of the bill.  With regard to refugee funding, the Jordan Amendment would result in an additional cut of $56.265 MILLION to refugee admissions and overseas refugee assistance and an additional cut of $20.4 MILLION to refugee resettlement programs.
  • Bar  Funding for Programs that are Not Authorized.  Representatives Steven Pearce (R-NM) as filed two amendments that would bar funding for unauthorized programs.  The first would simply bar funding for programs that have expired authorizations or that have never been authorized.  The second would bar funding for programs that have not been authorized for five or more years..
H.R. 1 would make continuing appropriations for the operations of the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 2011. 

Congress must enact a new continuing appropriations resolution into law by March 4, 2011, in order to prevent a shutdown of almost all of the federal government.  This is so because the 111th Congress reached a stalemate and was unable to enact any of the 12 regular appropriations bills that fund the federal government's activities before it adjourned.  Instead, the 11th Congress opted to give the new Congress time to work on the long-term fiscal year 2011 spending measures and only enacted a short-term continuing appropriations bill that funded the activities of the federal government through March 4.

Among the federal agencies, programs, and activities that have yet to receive final fiscal year 2011 funding are the agencies that operate the federal government's immigration control, immigration services, refugee admissions, overseas refugee assistance, and refugee resettlement functions.


Among the many provisions in H.R. 1 are those that would
make deep cuts in funding for refugee admissions, overseas refugee assistance, and refugee resettlement programs.  In addition, the measure would bar funding for immigration integration, and it would relax existing restrictions on funding for fencing along the U.S. border with Mexico.

Most observers expect the House to pass H.R. 1 on either Thursday or Friday.  However, that will only be the first step in what is likely to be an extended and contentious legislative process.  The Senate Democratic Leadership has indicated that many of the provisions in the House version of H.R. 1 are unacceptable, and President Obama's Administration on Tuesday threatened to veto the measure if it were to reach his desk in its current state.


Click Here for the Text of President Obama's Threat to Veto H.R. 1
Click Here for a Summary of the Immigration and Refugee Items in H.R. 1
Click Here for a Summary of the Immigration & Refugee Related Amendments to H.R. 1
Click Here for the Text of All of the Amendments Filed to H.R. 1
Click Here for the Text of H.R. 1, As Introduced

 

The House is Plowing Through 583 Amendments to the
FY '11 Continuing Appropriations Bill 


By Micheal E. Hill
Wednesday, February 16, 2011  -- 10:50 am

--Updated on Wednesday, February 16, 2011, at 8:20 pm EST--
--Original Version Posted on Tuesday, February 15, 2011, at 9:00 am EST--

The full House of Representatives has begun to plow through a list of 583 amendments that have been filed to H.R. 1, its version of the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Appropriations Resolution.  While nearly 600 amendments had been filed to the measure at the time of this writing, an examination of the amendments reveals that only 37 of them would likely pose significant consequences for immigration  or refugee policy if they were enacted into law.

The following is a list of some of the more controversial amendments that have been filed to H.R. 1 that could have significant consequences for immigration or refugee policy, if enacted:
  • Prohibit the Processing of Diversity Visas.  Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) has filed an amendment that would prohibit the use of funds in the bill for processing visas under the Diversity Visa Program.
  • Prohibit Funding for REAL ID Act Implementation.  Representative David Price (D-NC) has filed an amendment that would prohibit funding for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for implementation of the REAL ID Act of 2005.
  • Prohibition on Assistance to Nations Opposing the U.S. Positions in the United Nations.  Representative Louis Gohmert (R-TX) has filed an amendment that would prohibit United States assistance to a country that opposes the positions of the United States in the United Nations.
  • Further Across-the-Board Cuts in FY '11 Funding.  Numerous Representatives have filed numerous amendments that would make across-the-board cuts in fiscal year 2011 funding, based on the amounts that are contained in H.R.1.  The largest cuts would be made by a series of amendments offered by Representative James Jordan (R-OH), which would make a 5.5 percent across-the-board cut in all programs in Title III, Title VII and Title XI of the bill.  With regard to refugee funding, it would result in an additional cut of $56.265 MILLION in cuts to refugee admissions and overseas refugee assistance and an additional cut of $20.4 MILLION in additional cuts to refugee resettlement programs.
  • Cut in FY '11 Funding to FY '06 Levels.  Representative J. Michael Mulvaney (R-SC) has filed an amendment that would cut all non-defense, non-homeland security, and all non-veterans affairs agencies, programs, and activities, to fiscal year 2006 levels.
  • Impose a Cap on the Number of ICE Detention Beds.  Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) has filed an amendment that would cap the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention beds at 33,400.
  • Bar  Funding for the Department of Justice Lawsuit Challenging Arizona's S.B. 1070.  Representatives Ted Poe (R-TX) and Adam Kinzinger (R-OH) have filed separate amendments that would prohibit funding to litigate the continuation of the Department of Justice lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Arizona's S.B. 1070 immigration enforcement law.
  • Prohibit Funding for Implementing Social Security Totalization Agreement with Mexico.  Representative Phil Gingrey (R-GA) has filed an amendment that would prohibit funding in the bill to pay the compensation of employees of the Social Security Administration to administer Social Security benefit payments under any agreement between the United States and Mexico establishing totalization arrangements between the social security systems of the two countries.

  • Bar  Funding for Programs that are Not Authorized.  Representatives Steven Pearce (R-NM) as filed two amendments that would bar funding for unauthorized programs.  The first would simply bar funding for programs that have expired authorizations or that have never been authorized.  The second would bar funding for programs that have not been authorized for five or more years..

The House is not expected to take up any immigration- and refugee-related amendments to H.R. 1 until Wednesday, February 16 or Thursday, February 17.

H.R. 1 would make continuing appropriations for the operations of the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 2011.  Enactment of the measure is necessary because Congress did not complete the consideration of any of the 12 regular appropriations bills that it was supposed to enact in fiscal year 2011.  Among the many provisions in the measure are those that would
make deep cuts in funding for refugee admissions, overseas refugee assistance, and refugee resettlement programs.  In addition, the measure would bar funding for immigration integration, and it would relax existing restrictions on funding for fencing along the U.S. border with Mexico.


Click Here for the Text of President Obama's Threat to Veto H.R. 1
Click Here for a Summary of the Immigration and Refugee Items in H.R. 1
Click Here for a Summary of the Immigration & Refugee Related Amendments to H.R. 1
Click Here for the Text of All of the Amendments Filed to H.R. 1
Click Here for the Text of H.R. 1, As Introduced

 

House to Take Up FY '11 Continuing Appropriations Bill Making
Deep Cuts to Refugee Programs


By Micheal E. Hill
Tuesday, February 15, 2011  -- 8:00 am EST

--Updated on Wednesday, February 16, 2011, at 8:50 pm EST--

The full House of Representatives is scheduled this week to take up H.R. 1, its version of the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Appropriations Resolution.  Among its many provisions are those that would make deep cuts in funding for refugee admissions, overseas refugee assistance, and refugee resettlement programs.  In addition, the measure would bar funding for immigration integration, and it would relax existing restrictions on funding for fencing along the U.S. border with Mexico.  This week's floor action on H.R. 1 is set to begin on Tuesday, February 15, and continue through at least Thursday, February 17, but possibly continuing into Friday, February 18. 


Parliamentary Situation
The House will take up H.R. 1 under procedures permitting any Member to offer an amendment to the bill so long as the amendment is germane to the bill.  Amendments must be pre-printed in the Congressional Record by February 15, 2011, and they must be offered during a narrow period when the subject matter of the amendment is being "read" by the Clerk of the House.


Background
Congress must enact a new continuing appropriations resolution into law by March 4, 2011, in order to prevent a shutdown of almost all of the federal government.  This is so because the 111th Congress reached a stalemate and was unable to enact any of the 12 regular appropriations bills that fund the federal government's activities before it adjourned.  Instead, the 11th Congress opted to give the new Congress time to work on the long-term fiscal year 2011 spending measures and only enacted a short-term continuing appropriations bill that funded the activities of the federal government through March 4.

Among the federal agencies, programs, and activities that have yet to receive final fiscal year 2011 funding are the agencies that operate the federal government's immigration control, immigration services, refugee admissions, overseas refugee assistance, and refugee resettlement functions.


General Outline of the Measure
H.R. 1 would make $65.5 BILLION in cuts in "non-security" discretionary spending relative to fiscal year 2010 appropriations and approximately $100 BILLION in total cuts relative to the Obama Administration's fiscal year 2011 budget request.

The measure is organized into four divisions.  Division B comprises the Full-Year Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Appropriations Resolution, and it is divided into 12 titles, with one (Title 1) containing general provisions and each of the remaining 11 titles comprising appropriations for each of the 11 appropriations subcommittees (other than Defense).

With regard to the titles of Subdivision B that contain the bulk of the measure's immigration- and refugee-related provisions:
  • The Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Title, which funds the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) and other Department of Justice immigration-related entities is found in Title III of Division B. (Pages 196-209)
  • The Homeland Security Title, which funds appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security, including US-VISIT, ICE, CBP, and USCIS, is found in Title VI of Subdivision B. (Pages 244-263)
  • The Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Title, which funds appropriations for the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), is found in Title VIII of Subdivision B. (Pages 284-306)
  • The State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Title, which funds the Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) and that bureau's refugee admissions, overseas refugee assistance, and Emergency Refugees and Migration Assistance (ERMA) accounts, is found in Title XI of Subdivision B. (Pages 320-345)

Summary of Immigration- and Refugee-Related Provisions 
From a refugee and immigration perspective, H.R. 1 contains the following provisions:
  • Executive Office for Immigration Review. With specific regard to funding for the Executive Office for Immigration Review, H.R. 1 is silent, which means that it would continue funding for the Department of Justice’s Administrative Review and Appeals, the parent account for EOIR, at fiscal year 2010 levels, which was approximately $300.685 MILLION.
  • Refugee Admissions and Overseas Refugee Assistance. With regard to refugee admissions and overseas refugee assistance, H.R. 1 would cut fiscal year 2011 funding for those programs by $827 MILLION, from $1.850 BILLION that was appropriated in fiscal year 2010 to $1.023 BILLION in fiscal year 2011. This would constitute a 44.8 percent reduction in fiscal year 2011 funding relative to fiscal year 2010.
  • Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance. With regard to the Department of State’s Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance (ERMA) Fund, H.R. 1 would appropriate $44.635 MILLION for the fund, which is just under the $45 MILLION that was appropriated for the fund in fiscal year 2010.
  • Refugee Resettlement, Torture and Trafficking Victim Assistance, and Care of Unaccompanied Alien Children.  With regard to refugee resettlement, trafficking victim assistance, torture victim assistance, and the care of unaccompanied alien children, H.R. 1 would reduce appropriations available to those programs by $77 MILLION, effectively cutting the appropriation from $730.928 MILLION that was appropriated in fiscal year 2010 to $653.928 MILLION. This would constitute a reduction of 10.5 percent.

    As a technical matter, H.R. 1 would continue fiscal year 2011 spending for the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s Refugee and Entrant Assistance account at $730.928 MILLION, the same amount that was appropriated for fiscal year 2010. However, it would rescind $77 MILLION of appropriated but unobligated fiscal year 2010 ORR funding, thus reducing the available funding for the program by $77 MILLION.
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. With regard to the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), H.R. 1 would increase fiscal year 2011 funding for USCIS by $41.2 MILLION, from $234.6 MILLION in directly appropriated funds in fiscal year 2010 to $275.776 MILLION in fiscal year 2011. This would represent an increase of 17.6 percent in fiscal year 2011 relative to fiscal year 2010.
Within the USCIS appropriation, H.R. 1 would provide the following earmarks and limitations:
 
Immigrant Integration. H.R. 1 would prohibit using any USCIS directly appropriated fiscal year 2011 funds for immigrant integration. The fiscal year 2010 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill contained no specific earmark for immigrant integration and contained no prohibition on the use of funds for that purpose.

Refugee and Asylum Processing. H.R. 1 would increase funding for processing applications for asylum and refugee status by $101.376, from $50 MILLION in fiscal year 2010 to $151.376 MILLION in fiscal year 2011.
 
E-Verify Program. H.R. 1 would cut funding for the E-Verify program by $33.6 MILLION, from $137 MILLION in fiscal year 2010 to $103.4 MILLION in fiscal year 2011. This would represent a decrease of 24.5 percent in fiscal year 2011 relative to fiscal year 2010.
  • Border Security. With specific regard to Border Enforcement, H.R. 1 would appropriate roughly the same amount of funding in fiscal year 2011 for DHS’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Directorate as was appropriated in fiscal year 2010.
Within the CBP appropriation, H.R. 1 would provide the following directives:

Border Patrol Staffing. H.R. 1 provides that the Border Patrol shall maintain an active duty presence of not fewer than 20,500 full-time equivalent agents.

Border Fencing. H.R. 1 would ease some of the restrictions that the Fiscal Year 2010 Homeland Security Appropriations Act placed on the Administration’s authority to build fencing along the U.S. border with Mexico.
  • Interior Immigration Enforcement. With specific regard to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Directorate, H.R. 1 would appropriate roughly the same amount of funding in fiscal year 2011 for ICE as was appropriated in fiscal year 2010.
Within the ICE appropriation, H.R. 1 would provide the following directives:

Detention Beds. H.R. 1 provides that ICE shall maintain a level of not fewer than 33,400 detention beds throughout fiscal year 2011.


Potential Immigration- and Refugee-Related Floor Amendments
At the time of this writing, 583 floor amendments had been filed to H.R. 1, including at least 37 that would have a significant impact on immigration or refugee policy.  However, the filing of an amendment is no guarantee that the author of it will actually offer it on the House floor.


Click Here to See the Text of H.R. 1, As Introduced
Click Here to See the Text of All of the Amendments Filed to H.R. 1
Click Here to See the Text of President Obama's Threat to Veto H.R. 1



President Proposes Cuts in FY '12 Funding for Overseas Refugee Assistance and Increases in Refugee Resettlement, Refugee Admissions, and Immigration Services While Holding Steady on Immigration Enforcement Spending


By Micheal E. Hill
Tuesday, February 15, 2011  -- 8:45 am EST


President Barack Obama has submitted his fiscal year 2012 budget to Congress. The details of the Administration’s plans were revealed in a 1364-page long Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Appendix, which contains detailed information about proposed fiscal year 2012 spending for all federal programs and agencies. In addition to the Budget Appendix, the Administration also submitted even more detailed breakdowns and budget justifications for each of the federal government's departments. The Administration submitted the budget materials on Monday, February 14, 2011, thus, kickstarting the fiscal year 2012 budget cycle.


Refugee Admissions and Overseas Refugee Assistance
With respect to spending for refugee protection and assistance, the President’s fiscal year 2012 budget submission proposes a 13.2 percent reduction in the Department of State’s Migration and Refugee Assistance (MRA) account relative to fiscal year 2010, from $1.859 MILLION in fiscal year 2010 to $1.614 MILLION in fiscal year 2012.

Within the proposed budget for the MRA account, the Obama Administration proposed cutting fiscal year 2012 funding for overseas refugee assistance relative to fiscal year 2010 by 12.98 percent, from $1.371 BILLION in fiscal year 2010 to $1.193 BILLION in fiscal year 2012, a cut of $178 MILLION. On the other hand, the Administration’s proposed budget would increase fiscal year 2012 spending for the refugee admissions programs relative to fiscal year 2010. More specifically, the Administration’s proposed budget would increase spending for refugee admissions from $337 MILLION in fiscal year 2010 to $367 MILLION in fiscal year 2012, an increase of $30 MILLION or 8.9 percent.


Refugee Resettlement
With respect to fiscal year 2012 spending for the programs operated by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), the Obama fiscal year 2012 budget submission proposed an appropriation of $825 MILLION for ORR’s programs. This would represent an increase of $95 MILLION relative to fiscal year 2010, an increase of 13 percent.

Within the proposed FY ’12 ORR budget, the Administration proposed an appropriation of $177 billion for the care of unaccompanied alien children, which would represent a $28 million or 5.4 percent increase relative to the amount appropriated for that purpose in fiscal year 2010. It proposed an appropriation of $637 million for ORR’s resettlement services, which would represent a $76.4 MILLION or 13.6 percent increase relative to fiscal year 2010.


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
With respect to fiscal year 2012 spending for the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Obama fiscal year 2012 budget submission proposed an appropriation of $365 MILLION in directly appropriated funds. This would represent an increase of $119 MILLION relative to fiscal year 2010, an increase of 48.4 percent.

Within the proposed appropriation for USCIS, the Obama Administration proposed to spend $203.4 MILLION for adjudicating refugee and asylum applications. This would represent an increase of $153.4 MILLION over the $50 MILLION that was appropriated for that purpose in fiscal year 2010.

The proposed appropriation for USCIS also includes a request for $132.3 MILLION for the E-Verify program. This would actually be a decrease in spending relative to fiscal year 2010, which saw an appropriation of $137 MILLION for the E-Verify program.



Interior Immigration Enforcement
With respect to fiscal year 2012 spending for the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) bureau, the Obama fiscal year 2012 budget submission proposed an appropriation of $5.510 BILLION, which is roughly equal to the fiscal year 2010 appropriation of $5.461 BILLION.



Immigration Policy Provisions
The Obama budget plan included a number of policy provisions.  From an immigration perspective, among the most significant is a proposal to extend Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid eligibility for elderly and disabled refugees whose eligibility for the programs expired on September 30, 2010.


Next Steps
Now that the President has submitted his detailed budget proposals for fiscal year 2012, Congress will begin to consider it in the following steps:
  • The Administration will set out in force this week and next defending the Administration’s budget proposal in House and Senate hearings on the Administration’s proposals;
  • The House and Senate Budget Committees will shortly produce draft budget resolutions for fiscal year 2012 for the full House and full Senate to consider, with final action hoped for by mid-April;
  • Once the full House and full Senate have completed consideration of the fiscal year 2012 budget resolution, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees will allocate fiscal year 2012 discretionary spending among their 12 subcommittees; and
  • The House and Senate Appropriations committees will begin in late May or early June to produce bills appropriating fiscal year 2012 funds for the various immigration-, refugee-, border security-, and visa security-related agencies, program, projects, and activities of government.
All of these actions are anticipated relating to the fiscal year 2012 budget, even while Congress and the President are still grappling with how to complete the fiscal year 2011 appropriations bills.

 

House Consideration of an FY '11 Appropriations Bill Making Deep Cuts to Refugee Programs and the Release of President Obama's FY '12 Budget Submission Highlight a Heavy Load of Immigration and Refugee Action This Week in Congress


By Micheal E. Hill
Monday, February 14, 2011  -- 11:59 pm EST


The 112th Congress shifts into immigration and refugee overdrive this week as the U.S. House of Representatives takes up a fiscal year 2011 continuing appropriations resolution that would make deep cuts in refugee admissions, overseas refugee assistance, and refugee resettlement programs; the President submits his fiscal year 2012 budget to Congress; Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano testifies before two congressional committees; the House Homeland Security Committee holds a hearing on border security; and the Senate committees that have primary jurisdiction over immigration and refugee matters finally organize for the 112th Congress.

In addition to this week's "On the Hill" legislative activities, a host of "off of the Hill" immigration- and refugee-related activities also are taking place this week.

The highlights of this week's immigration- and refugee-related legislative-related action include:
  • House Floor Consideration of the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Appropriations Resolution.  The House of Representatives is scheduled to take up H.R. 1, the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Appropriations Resolution, beginning on Tuesday, February 15, and continuing through Thursday, February 16.  If enacted, the measure would fund the operations of the federal government through the end of fiscal year 2011.  It contains deep cuts in funding for refugee admissions, overseas refugee assistance, and refugee resettlement programs.  In addition it would bar funding for immigration integration, and it would relax existing restrictions on funding of fencing along the U.S. border with Mexico.
  • President Obama's Submission of His Fiscal Year 2012 Budget.  On Monday, February 14, 2011, President Obama will submit his fiscal year 2012 budget proposal to Congress.  The submission of the President's budget proposal will mark the beginning of the fiscal year 2012 budget and appropriations cycle, even while Congress grapples with efforts to complete appropriations for fiscal year 2011. Immigration and refugee insiders and policymakers will carefully examine the President's budget to get a sense of where he will draw the line during the coming clash over the fiscal year 2011 continuing  appropriations resolution, as well as to size up the likely clashes on immigration and refugee funding that will take place during the fiscal year 2012 budget battles.
  • Secretary Napolitano Testimony on the Administration's Fiscal Year 2012 Budget for the Department of Homeland Security.  Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano is scheduled to take to Capitol Hill on Thursday, February 17, 2011, to defend President Obama's fiscal year 2012 budget submission for the Department of Homeland Security.  The Secretary will appear on that day before two committees: the House Committee on Homeland Security and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs..
  • House Homeland Security Panel Hearing on Border Security.  On Tuesday, February 15, 2011, the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security has scheduled a hearing  to examine the Obama Administration's border security policies and practices.  The hearing, which is titled, "Securing our Borders - Operational Control and the Path Forward," will hear from Chief Michael J. Fisher, Border Patrol, Department of Homeland Security; and Richard M. Stana, Director, Homeland Security and Justice, Government Accountability Office.
  • Senate Committees to Organize for the 112th Congress.  Beginning on Tuesday, February 15, 2011, and continuing throughout the week, the three Senate committees that have primary jurisdiction over immigration and refugee matters will organize for the 112th Congress, dividing into subcommittees and formally assigning its members to them.

In addition to the heavy schedule of immigration-related action taking place this week on Capitol Hill, a number of significant "off of the Hill" immigration-related activities also are occurring, including a America's Voice telephonic discussion on the Republican approach to immigration, a Woodrow Wilson International Center panel discussion on North Korean refugees, and a Brookings Institution panel discussion on barriers to protection and assistance for refugees.


Click Here to See a Listing of the Likely Immigration Action For the Week of February 14

 

The Subject of Immigration Could Possibly Come Up on Several of This Sunday's Public Affairs Programs


By Micheal E. Hill

Saturday, February 12, 2011  -- 10:15 am EST


 

For the third week in a row, the popular uprising in Egypt that toppled the regime of Egypian President Hosni Mubarack will dominate the weekend's major network Sunday public affairs programs.  Also featured on the programs will be discussions about the upcoming congressional battle over fiscal year 2011 and fiscal year 2012 spending.  As a consequence of those big stories, the subject of immigration does not figure to be a major topic of discussion on most of this weekend's  Sunday public affairs programs this weekend.

To the extent that the subject of immigration does come up on this weekend's public affairs programs, the most likely venues for such discussions are on CBS's "Face the Nation" program, which will feature Senator John McCain (R-AZ); CNN's "State of the Union" programs, which has Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) as one of its guests; and ABC's "This Week" program which will interview former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA).

The following is a complete guide to what can be expected on this weekend's programs:
  • ABC - This Week.  Among the guests on the February 13, 2011, edition of  ABC's "This Week" program will be Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak; former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA), and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-MN).  Among the interviews that she is expected to air is an interview with the embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.  Appearing during the roundtable segment of the program will be Robert Kagan of the Brookings Institution, Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post, Egyptian journalist Mona Eltahawy, and ABC News' George Will. Given the lineup of guests, it is unlikely that the subject of immigration will come up during the program.
  • CBS - Face the Nation.  Among the guests on the February 13, 2011, edition of CBS's "Face the Nation" program will be Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Egyptian Nobel Laureate and Activist Ahmed Zewail.  Given the appearance by Senator John McCain, it is possible that the subject of immigration will come up during the program.
  • CNN - State of the Union.  Among the guests on the February 13, 2011, edition of CNN's "State of the Union" program will be  Edward S. Walker, former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt; John Negroponte, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, John Negroponte; Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob LewGiven the appearance by Senator Graham, the subject of immigration could well come up during the program.
  • C-SPAN - Newsmakers.  The February 13, 2011, edition of C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" program will feature an interview with Representative Steve Israel (D-NY), Chairman of the Democratic Congresscional Campaign Committee.
  • FOX - FOX News Sunday.  Among the guests appearing on the February 13, 2011, edition of FOX's "FOX News Sunday" will be House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour (R-MS).  Appearing on the roundtable discussion segment of the program will be Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard and Fox News, Nina Easton of Fortune Magazine and Fox News, Liz Cheney, Former State Department Official and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, and Fox News Political Analyst Juan Williams
  • NBC - Meet the Press.  Appearing on the February 13, 2011, edition of NBC's "Meet the Press" will be Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH).  Apppearing during the roundtable segment of the program will be The Mayor of Atlanta, Kasim Reed (D); freshman Member of Congress supported by the Tea Party, Representative Bobby Schilling (R-IL); former Clinton White House Press Aecretary, Dee Dee Myers; columnist for the New York Times, David Brooks; and Time Magazine’s Mark Halperin.  Given the lineup of guests, it is unlikely that the subject of immigration will come up during the program.

MicEvHill.Com will post any immigration-related video excerpts from the programs beginning late afternoon on Sunday, February 13.

 

House Judiciary Committee Unveils Fiscal year Oversight Plan That is Filled With Immigration Restrictionist Items


By Micheal E. Hill

Tuesday, February 8, 2011  -- 8:10 am EST


The House Committee on the Judiciary this week is poised to adopt an oversight plan for the 112th Congress that is filled with plans for hearings, briefings, correspondence, reports, and public statements on immigration and refugee matters, with almost all of that activity reflecting the agenda of the immigration restrictionist community.  This week's Committee action is scheduled to occur on Wednesday, February 9, 2011, during a House Judiciary Committee markup.

According to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX), the draft oversight plan that the Committee will consider during Wednesday's markup has been agreed to by House Judiciary Committee Ranking Minority Member John Conyers (D-MI).  And so it is unclear at the time of this writing whether any amendments will be offered to it during the markup.

The draft oversight plan contains a number of eye-popping immigration-related items.  Among them are plans for the panel's Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement to --
  • Administrative Discretion.  Examine "uses of deferred action and other exercizes of administrative relief" for aliens who are not lawfully present in the United States.
  • Immigration Consequences of Drunk Driving.  Examine the immigration consequences of drunk driving convictions.
  • Cooperation of State and Local Law Enforcement.  Conduct hearings on issues involved with the cooperation of state and local law enforcement agencies with ICE in the enforcement of federal immigration laws, including the operation of the 287(g) and Secure Communities programs.
  • Mexican Law Enforcement Issues.  Conduct hearings on the implications of Mexican law enforcement issues for asylum and refugee policy.
  • Immigration Judge Disciplinary Proceedings.  Conduct hearings on the impact of disciplinary investigations on the decision making of immigration judges.
  • In-State Tuition for Illegal Immigrants.  Conduct hearings on the level of enforcement by the Department of Justice of the provisions of IIRIRA pertaining to rules regarding in-state tuition charges by public universities.
  • Immigration Benefit Fraud.  Conduct hearing on USCIS's ability to uncover fraudulent applications and petitions for visas and other immigration benefits.
  • Terrorists and the Immigration System.  Conduct hearings on how to prevent the manipulation of our immigration system by terrorists.
  • Gang Violence in Immigrant Communities.  Conduct hearings on the gang violence in immigrant communities.
  • Illegal Immigration in Arizona.  Conduct hearings on the effects on Arizona residents of illegal immigration and the constitutional issues raised by Arizona's immigration enforcement law (SB 1070).
  • Sanctuary Cities.  Conduct hearings on the effects on public safety of cooperation and non-cooperation by local enforcement in the enforcement of the immigration law.
  • Temporary Protected Status.  Conduct hearings on the administration of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program.
  • Birthright Citizenship.  Conduct hearings on the "constitutional requirements for citizenship..."
To be sure, not every immigration-related item in the draft oversight plan is filtered through the lens of the immigration restrictionist agenda.  For instance, the plan calls for hearings on "the ongoing efforts of CIS to reduce the processing backlog for immigration petitions and applications."  It also calls for hearings "on the process of assimilation of immigrants, including issues such as the availability of English language instruction."

The Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement has already begin to execute the oversight plan, holding a hearing last month on worksite immigration enforcement and scheduling a hearing for later this week on the E-Verify System.  Indications are that the Subcommittee will step up its hearing schedule in the coming weeks, holding as many as three hearings in March and continuing at a pace of nearly a hearing every week that Congress is in session.


Click Here to see Immigration Excerpts from House Judiciary Committee Oversight Plan
Click Here to see the Full House Judiciary Committee 112th Congress Oversight Plan

 

Three Hearings, Five Markups, and One Floor Action Highlight a Heavy Load of Immigration and Refugee Action This Week in Congress


By Micheal E. Hill
Monday, February 7, 2011  -- 12:01 am EST


One month after the 112th Congress convened, it finally is getting around to some real legislative action on immigration, with three hearings, five markups, and one floor action scheduled during which significant immigration- or refugee-related issues are in play.  All of this week's scheduled legislative action on immigration or refugee matters is occurring in the House.

The highlights of this week's immigration- and legislative-related Capitol Hill action include:
  • Hearing on the E-Verify System.  a Thursday, February 10 House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement hearing on the E-Verify System that will feature testimony by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and an official with the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  • Hearing on Home-Grown Terrorism.  a Wednesday, February 9 House Homeland Security Committee hearing on homegrown terrorism that will feature Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.
  • Adoption of House Judiciary Committee Oversight Plan.  A Wednesday, February 9 House Judiciary Committee markup of what is expected to be an immigration enforcement-minded oversight plan for the 112th Congress.
  • Fiscal Year 2011 Funding for Refugee and Immigration Programs.  A Tuesday, February 8 House Appropriations Committee markup during which the Committee is expected to approve fiscal year 2011 subcommittee allocations making $44 BILLION in cuts in domestic and foreign affairs discretionary spending cuts, laying the groundwork for next week's House floor action on the fiscal year 2011 continuing appropriations resolution.

In addition to the heavy schedule of immigration-related action taking place this week on Capitol Hill, a number of significant "off of the Hill" immigration-related activities also are occurring, including a Brookings Institution conference on immigration policy for high-skilled workers, a National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) panel discussion on Latinos and redistricting, and a Heritage Foundation panel discussion on immigration and border security.

Click Here to See a Listing of the Likely Immigration Action For the Week of February 7

 

The Subject of Immigration is Likely to Come Up on at Least One of This Sunday's Public Affairs Programs


By Micheal E. Hill

Friday, February 4, 2011  -- 5:40 pm EST
--Updated on Saturday, February 5, 2011, at 2:00 pm EST--

 

The continuing popular uprising in Egypt will again dominate this weekend's major network Sunday public affairs programs.  Also featured on the programs will be discussions about the upcoming congressional battle over fiscal year 2011 and fiscal year 2012 spending and, in one case, discussions about the Super Bowl.  As a consequence of those big stories, the subject of immigration does not figure to be a major topic of discussion on most of this weekend's  Sunday public affairs programs this weekend.

The one program that will certainly contain extensive discussion about immigration matters is C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" program, which will feature a half hour-long discussion with Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

The following is a complete guide to what can be expected on this weekend's programs:
  • ABC - This Week.  The February 6, 2011, edition of  ABC's "This Week" program will be devoted to the continuing popular uprising in Egypt, with host Christiane Amanpour both reporting from and interivewing guests in Egypt.  Among the interviews that she is expected to air is an interview with the embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.  Given the lineup of guests, it is unlikely that the subject of immigration will come up during the program.
  • CBS - Face the Nation.  The February 6, 2011, edition of CBS's "Face the Nation" program will be devoted to the continuing popular uprising in Egypt.  Appearing on the program will be Martin Indyk, Vice President and Director of Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution; Thomas Pickering, Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Israel and Jordan; and Dr. Abderrahim Foukara, Al Jazeera, Washington and New York Bureau Chief.  Given the lineup of guests, it is unlikely that the subject of immigration will come up during the program.
  • CNN - State of the Union.  Among the guests on the February 6, 2011, edition of CNN's "State of the Union" program will be former Secrerary of State Madeleine Albright; Edward S. Walker, former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt; John Negroponte, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, John Negroponte; and former Senator Alan K. Simpson (R-WY), one of the Co-Chairs of the President's Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.  Given the lineup of guests, it is highly unlikely that the subject of immigration will come up during the program.
  • C-SPAN - Newsmakers.  The February 6, 2011, edition of C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" program will feature an interview with Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, who will be questioned about how the Department is dealing with the threat of terrorrist attacks on United States soil, her views on the E-Verify System, and Department of Homeland Security efforts to control and deter illegal entries into the United States.
  • FOX - FOX News Sunday.  Among the guests appearing on the February 6, 2011, edition of FOX's "FOX News Sunday" will be  Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner; Lynn Swann, Former Pittsburgh Steelers Wide Receiver; and Jerry Kramer, Former Green Bay Packers Offensive LinemanAppearing this week during the roundtable segment of the program will be Terry Bradshaw, Former Steelers Quarterback and current anchor on Fox Sports; Howie Long, Former Raiders Defensive End and current anchor on Fox Sports; and Michael Strahan, Former Giants Defensive End and current anchor on Fox Sports.  Given the lineup of guests, it is a fairly safe bet that  that the subject of immigration will not come up during the program. 
  • NBC - Meet the Press.  Appearing on the February 6, 2011, edition of NBC's "Meet the Press" will be Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) and former Secretary of State James A. Baker.  Apppearing during the roundtable segment of the program to mark the 100th anniversay of the birth of the late President Ronald Reagan will be former Secretary of State and Reagan White House Chief of Staff, James A. Baker; former Reagan speechwriter, Peggy Noonan; former Speaker of the California State Assembly and Mayor of San Francisco, Willie Brown; and White House Correspondent for NBC News during the Reagan administration, Andrea MitchellGiven the lineup of guests, it is unlikely that the subject of immigration will come up during the program.

MicEvHill.Com will post any immigration-related video excerpts from the programs beginning late afternoon on Sunday, February 6.

 

House Republicans Announce Plans to Cut $42.6 BILLION in "Non-Security Discretionary" Spending in FY '11


By Micheal E. Hill
Friday, February 4, 2011  -- 8:30 am EST


House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY) has announced that the fiscal year 2011 continuing appropriations resolution that House Republicans will bring to the House floor sometime in the next ten days will contain $42.6 BILLION in cuts to "non-security discretionary" spending when compared to the amount appropriated for those programs in fiscal year 2010.   Rogers made his announcement on Thursday, February 3, 2011, just hours after House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) exercised the authority that the new rules of the U.S. House of Representatives has given him to set an overall spending ceiling for fiscal year 2011.

The spending ceilings that Chairman Rogers announced on Thursday include cuts of $1.8 BILLION (or 4.3  percent) in the broad category of spending that includes refugee admissions, overseas refugee assistance, and emergency refugee and migration assistance; cuts of $6.565 BIILLION (or 4.0 percent) in the broad category of spending that includes refugee resettlement, trafficking victim assistance, torture victim assistance, and unaccompanied alien child services; and cuts of $10.2 BILLION (or 15.85 percent) in the broad category of spending that includes spending for the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR).  The spending ceiling for the Department of Homeland Security's appropriations for fiscal year 2011 will be almost identical to the amount that was appropriated for the Department in fiscal year 2010.

Chairman Rogers has promised that sometime during the week of February 7, he will release the text of the fiscal year 2011 continuing appropriations bill that is being assembled by Committee staff pursuant to the spending ceilings that he announced on Thursday.  There is no guarantee that any program contained within one of the 12 broad categories of funding that each of the subcommittees on the Appropriations Committee controls will receive a cut equal to the percentage by which the ceiling for that category is being cut.  For instance, while the ceiling for spending in the broad category of funding that includes the refugee admissions program is being cut by 4.3 percent, that is no guarantee that the refugee admissions program, itself, will be cut by 4.3 percent.  The continuing appropriations resolution that Republicans unveil could contain much deeper cuts in that particular program or it could contain no cuts at all in that particular program.

In response to the announcements by Chairmen Ryan and Rogers, Office of Management and Budget Chairman Jacob Lew stated,
“[t]his Administration strongly agrees that tough choices must be made to bring down the deficit and get the country back on a sustainable path, which is why the president proposed a 5-year non-security discretionary freeze, saving more than $400 billion and reducing non-security discretionary spending to its lowest level as a share of the economy since President Eisenhower. But we cannot make cuts that undermine our ability to create jobs, drive innovation, and compete in a global economy — all of which are critical to winning the future.”

The House Republican Leadership has promised to bring a soon-to-be-unveiled fiscal year 2011 continuing appropriations bill to the House floor sometime during the week of February 14, the same week that President Obama is set to unveil his fiscal year 2012 budget submission to Congress.  The Leadership has promised, as well, that it will permit Members to offer amendments to the continuing appropriations bill while it is on the House floor.  Accordingly, programs that escape deep cuts in the measure that the House Committee on Appropriations produces could face floor amendments.

Congress must enact a new continuing appropriations resolution into law by March 4, 2011, in order to prevent a shutdown of almost all of the federal government.  This is so because the 111th Congress reached a stalemate and was unable to enact any of the 12 regular appropriations bills that fund the federal government's activities before it adjourned.  Instead, the 111th Congress opted to
give the new Congress time to work on the long-term fiscal year 2011 spending measures and only enacted a short-term continuing appropriations bill that funded the activities of the federal government through March 4.


Click Here to See the Text of the House's FY '11 Subcommittee Spending Ceilings

 

Senate Adopts Amendment to Rescind $44 BILLION
in Non-Defense, Non-Veteran Discretionary Spending


By Micheal E. Hill
Thursday, February 3, 2011  -- 8:34 am EST


In an action that received little immediate attention, the Senate has agreed to an amendment that would rescind $44 BILLION in unobligated discretionary funds.  The recission provision was part of an amendment on 1099s and health care reform that was offered on the Senate floor by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) to S. 223, the Federal Aviation Administration Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act (FAA Reauthorization Bill).  Senate action on the Stabenow amendment occurred on Wednesday, February 2, 2011, with the Senate agreeing to it by unanimous consent after first approving a procedural test vote relating to it by a vote of 81-17.

The Stabenow amendment is unusual in that it would delegate to the Office of Management and Budget the responsibility of determining where the cuts would be made in order to achieve $44 BILLION in savings.  However, it specified that the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Social Security Administration would be exempt from the cuts.

While the Stabenow amendment did not specify any particular programs to be rescinded, a requirement for cuts of that magnitude with so much federal spending put off limits could put refugee programs in danger of being cut.  That is because it is common for the U.S. refugee admissions, overseas refugee assistance, and refugee resettlement programs to be sitting on appropriated funds at this time of the year that have not yet been obligated for expenditure.  The refugee resettlement and admission programs, especially, tend to spend a disproportionately large portion of their funds in the latter part of a fiscal year as it ramps up refugee admissions.

It is far from certain whether the Stabenow amendment will ever become law.  First, the Senate  would have to pass the underlying bill to which it is attached, an eventuality that is far from certain.  Following that, the House would have to pass its own version of the FAA Reauthorization bill, the amendment would have to survive a conference between the House and Senate on the differing versions of the bill, and the President would have to sign it.

It is possible, of course, that instead of waiting for all of those things to happen, Senator Stabenow will attempt to attach her amendment to some other measure that has a more certain path to the White House.

The recissions in the Stabenow amendment were used to offset a loss of revenue that would occur as a result of the main portion of her amendment.  That portion would repeal a provision from last year's Health Care Reform Act that requires businesses to submit a 1099 form to the Internal Revenue Service for each vender to whom they pay $600 each year for goods.


Click Here to See the Text of the Stabenow 1099/Recission Amendment

 

Government Accountability Office Warns that U.S. Has Operational Control Over Less Than One percent of Its Northern Border


By Micheal E. Hill
Wednesday, February 2, 2011  -- 9:05 am EST


The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report on Northern border security, in which it asserts that the United States has operational control over 32 miles of the U.S.-Canada border, an amount that constitutes less than one percent of the 4,000 mile-long border between the United States and Canada.   The report, further, found that the Border Patrol was aware of all illegal border crossings on only 25 percent of the Northern border, or 1007 out of 4,000 miles.  The report was dated December 2010, however it was not publicly released until Tuesday, February 1.

In a joint press conference on the day of the report's release, Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-CT) called the report's conclusions "alarming" and Ranking Minority Member Susan Collins (R-ME) called them "shocking."

The GAO recommended that the executive branch take the following three actions to improve Northern border security --
  • Provide Department of Homeland Security (DHS) level guidance and oversight for interagency forums established or sponsored by its components to ensure that the missions and locations are not duplicative and to consider the downstream burden on northern border partners.
  • Provide regular DHS-level oversight of Border Patrol and ICE compliance with the provisions of the interagency MOU, including evaluation of outstanding challenges and planned corrective actions.
  • Direct CBP to develop policy and guidance necessary to identify, assess, and integrate the available partner resources in northern border sector security assessments and resource planning documents.
The Department of homeland Security concurred with all three of the recommendations.

in response to the report, Chairman Lieberman said, "[t]hese findings should sound a loud alarm to the Department of Homeland Security, the Canadian government, and our Committee."  Chairman Lieberman continued, saying "[t]he American people are grossly under-protected along our northern border.  We've got to work together with our neigbbors in Canada to raise our guard.  We should at the very least be able to detect all illegal entries from Canada into the United States.so we can get this information into the bands of law enforcement agencies that are well suited to make the necessary arrests."


Click Here for the Government Accountability Office Report on Northern Border Security

 
  
New Today!
New! MicEvHill.Com has posted the text of  H.J. Res. 44, the House version of the Fiscal Year 2011 Short-Term, Stop-Gap Continuing Appropriations Resolution, which the House expects to take up on Tuesday, March 1, 2011. --  Click Here to See the Just-Released Text of H.J. Res. 44
 
New!
MicEvHill.Com has posted a brief write-up summarizing the likely legislative activity that Congress will face during the week of February 28, 2011. --  Click Here to See the Summary of the Likely Immigration- and Refugee-Related Legislative Activity for the Week of February 28, 2011
 
New!
MicEvHill.Com has posted the latest version of its "This Week on the Hill" page, which previews the likely congressional immigration- and refugee-related legislative activity for the week of February 28, 2011. --  Click Here to See the February 28 2011, Edition of "This Week on the Hill"
  
New! MicEvHill.Com has posted today's edition of its "Today on the Hill" page, which previews the likely congressional immigration- and refugee-related legislative activity for Monday, February 28, 2011. --  Click Here to See the February 28 2011, Edition of "Today on the Hill"
 
New!
MicEvHill.Com has posted a link to the "Weekly Update on "Immigration and Refugee Legislative Matters" for the week of February 28, 2011. --  Click Here to See the February 28, 2011, Edition of the Weekly Legislative Update
  
New Last Week!
MicEvHill.Com has posted a sneak peek at the possible immigration-related discussions that could take place during this weekend's Sunday public affairs programs. -- Click Here to See a preview of the February 27, 2011, Sunday Public Affairs Programs
 
MicEvHill.Com has posted the text of  the House-passed version of H.R. 1, the Fiscal Year 2011 Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Resolution. --  Click Here to See the Just-Released Text of the House-Passed Version of H.R. 1
  
MicEvHill.Com has posted a write-up summarizing the likely legislative activity that Congress will face when it returns on Monday, February 28, from its week-long President's Day recess
. --  
Click Here to See the Summary of the Next Work Period's Likely Immigration- and Refugee-Related Legislative Activity
  
MicEvHill.Com has posted a link to the "Weekly Update on "Immigration and Refugee Legislative Matters" for the week of February 21, 2011. --  Click Here to See the February 21, 2011, Edition of the Weekly Legislative Update
 
MicEvHill.Com has posted a number of new immigration- and refugee-related documents on its "Top Documents" page, including links to transcripts of and testimony at several House and Senate immigration-related hearings and numerous documents relating to H.R. 1, the Full Year Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Appropriations Bill.  --  Click Here to See the MicEvHill.Com's "Top Documents" Page
 
MicEvHill.Com has made extensive updates to its "Over the Horizon" page, which looks ahead to likely immigration-, asylum-, and refugee-related legislative activity that either is scheduled to occur within the next several weeks or which has not yet been officially scheduled but that is likely occuring just over the horizon.  Recent updates includes a comprehensive listing of immigration- and refugee-related hearings that are occurring in March when Congress returns from next week's week-long President's Day recess.  --  Click Here to See MicEvHill.Com's "Over the Horizon" Page
  
New Last Week!
MicEvHill.Com has posted an analysis of the immigration- and refugee-related provisions in the House-passed version of H.R. 1, the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Appropriations Resolution.  --  Click Here to See an Analysis of the Immigration- and Refugee-Related in the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Appropriations Resolution
  
MicEvHill.Com has posted a sneak peek at the possible immigration-related discussions that could take place during this weekend's Sunday public affairs programs. -- Click Here to See a preview of the February 20, 2011, Sunday Public Affairs Programs
  
MicEvHill.Com has posted a summary of the immigration-related items in relation to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary's Organizational Meeting for the 112th Congress. --  Click Here to See the Summary of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary's 112th Congress Organizational Meeting
  
MicEvHill.Com has posted an update of the landscape of immigration- and refugee-related amendments that are pending to H.R. 1, the House version of the Fiscal Year 2011 Full Year Continuing Appropriations Bill.  -- 
Click Here to See an Analysis of the Current Landscape of Immigration- and Refugee-Related Amendments to H.R. 1.
 
MicEvHill.Com has posted a number of new immigration- and refugee-related documents on its "Top Documents" page, including links to testimony at several House immigration-related hearings and numerous documents relating to H.R. 1, the Full Year Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Appropriations Bill.  --  Click Here to See the MicEvHill.Com's "Top Documents" Page
  
MicEvHill.Com has posted an analysis of the immigration- and refugee-related amendments that are likely to be considered as the House struggles to complete consideration of H.R. 1, the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Appropriations Resolution. 
--  
Click Here to See an Analysis of the Likely Immigration- and Refugee-Related Amendments to be Offered to  the House Version of the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Appropriations Resolution
 
MicEvHill.Com has posted the text of President Obama's threat to veto the House version of H.R. 1, the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Appropriations Resolution.  --  Click Here to See the Veto Threat Relating to the House Version of the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Appropriations Resolution
  
MicEvHill.Com has posted an analysis of the immigration- and refugee-related amendments that were filed in connection with House floor consideration of H.R. 1, the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Appropriations Resolution. 
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Click Here to See an Analysis of the Immigration- and Refugee-Related Amendments Filed to the House Version of the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Appropriations Resolution
  
MicEvHill.Com has posted an analysis of the immigration- and refugee-related provisions in the House version of H.R. 1, the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Appropriations Resolution, which contains deep cuts in refugee admissions, overseas refugee assistance, and refugee resettlement fudning.  --  Click Here to See a Summary of of the Immigration- and Refugee-Related Provisions in the House Version of the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Appropriations Resolution
  
MicEvHill.Com has posted a link to the "Weekly Update on "Immigration and Refugee Legislative Matters" for the week of February 14, 2011
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Click Here to See the February 14, 2011, Edition of the Weekly Legislative Update
  
MicEvHill.Com has posted a brief analysis of the immigration- and refugee-related items in President Obama's Fiscal Year 2012 budget submission, which the President released on Monday, February 14, 2011. 
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Click Here to See the Brief Analysis of the Immigration- and Refugee-Related Items in the Obama Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Submission

MicEvHill.Com has posted its "This Week on the Hill" page, which previews the likely congressional immigration- and refugee-related legislative activity for the week of February 14, 2011
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Click Here to See the February 14 2011, Edition of "This Week on the Hill"
 
New This Month!
MicEvHill.Com has posted a sneak peek at the possible immigration-related discussions that could take place during this weekend's Sunday public affairs programs. -- Click Here to See a preview of the February 13, 2011, Sunday Public Affairs Programs
 
MicEvHill.Com has posted a link to immigration excerpts from the House Judiciary Committee's draft Oversight Plan for the 112th Congress, which the House Committee on the Judiciary is poised to adopt on Wednesday, February 9, 2011
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Click Here to See Immigration Excerpts from the Proposed 112th Congress Oversight Plan for the House Committee on the Judiciary
 
MicEvHill.Com has posted this week's edition of its "This Week on the Hill" page, which details the likely congressional immigration- and refugee-related legislative activity for the week of February 7, 2011. --  Click Here to See the February 7, 2011, Edition of "This Week on the Hill"
  
MicEvHill.Com has posted a link to the "Weekly Update on "Immigration and Refugee Legislative Matters" for the week of February 7, 2011
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Click Here to See the February 7 2011, Edition of the Weekly Legislative Update
 
MicEvHill.Com has posted a look at the possible immigration-related discussions that could take place during the coming weekend's Sunday public affairs programs. --
Click Here to See a preview of the February 7, 2011, Sunday Public Affairs Programs
 
MicEvHill.Com has posted a summary of the House Fiscal Year 2011 "non-security discretionary" spending ceilings announced on Thursday, February 3, 2011, by House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY). 
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Click Here to See a Sunmary of and a Chart Depicting the the House Fiscal Year 2011 "Non-Security Discretionary" Spending Ceilings
 
MicEvHill.Com has posted a summary of a Stabenow amendment to S. 223, the FAA Authorization Bill, that the Senate agreed to on February 2, 2011.  The amendment orders $44 BILLION in recissions of appropriated but unobligated non-defense and non-veteran discretionary spending.  
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Click Here to See a Sunmary of and the Text of the Stabenow Amendment
  
M
icEvHill.Com has posted a summary and text of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on northern border security. --  Click Here to See the Summary of and Link to the GAO Northern Border Security Report
 
MicEvHill.Com has made extensive updates on its "Over the Horizon" page, which looks ahead to likely immigration-, asylum-, and refugee-related legislative activity that either is not scheduled to occur until next week or later or which has not yet been officially scheduled but that is likely occuring just over the horizon. --  Click Here to See MicEvHill.Com's "Over the Horizon" Page
 
MicEvHill.Com has posted its "This Week on the Hill" page, which details the likely congressional immigration- and refugee-related legislative activity for the week of January 31, 2011
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Click Here to See the January 31, 2011, Edition of "This Week on the Hill"
 
MicEvHill.Com has posted a link to the "Weekly Update on "Immigration and Refugee Legislative Matters" for the week of January 31, 2011. --  Click Here to See the January 31, 2011, Edition of the Weekly Legislative Update


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