Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Chamber of Commerce in a Snit

News in this a.m.'s WashPost says there's a growing rift between the Republican congressmen and -women pushing the anti-immigration legislation in the U.S. House and their normally pleased-as-punch supporters in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

"Lobby groups including the chamber, the National Restaurant Association and the Associated General Contractors of America are so vehement in their opposition that they will consider lawmakers' votes on the bill a key measure of whether they will support them in the future."

The law, which Madame Virginia Foxx is cosponsoring, would require employers to check names, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth against government records to verify that workers are legal. Fines for knowingly hiring an undocumented worker would be increased. As for the workers, those in this country illegally could be charged with a felony.

This kind of law plays well in the South among the sort of voters that Madame Foxx has learned to depend on. But could get interesting, so far as the Madame's big corporate sponsors are concerned.

UPDATE: Today's N&O contains another article about the uproar Virginia Foxx's anti-immigration bill is causing among Hispanic groups and refugee-aid organizations. "Hispanic groups say that changing the law to make illegal presence in the United States a felony instead of a civil offense would turn all illegal immigrants -- including nearly 2 million children -- into aggravated felons."

Judging from the mounting opposition to this law, from both Democratically alligned groups and Republican allies, maybe this thing is going to be voted down in the House.

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