Dem Congressman Doesn't Like Leaks About Immigration Bill: Gotta Look at the "Totality of the Issues"

Says "confidentiality" needed for the process to work


the totality of the sausage
Robert Lawton\Wikimedia

The Washington Post interviews Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez, one of the "gang of seven" working on the House version of a "comprehensive" immigration reform bill, about how the Republican-led House could pass a bill that could then get conferenced with the Senate's. The Post began with a question about E-Verify, an employer mandate of sorts that would require job applicants to be checked in a national database for their citizenship status. Gutierrez does not like the fact that the E-Verify portion of the putative bill was leaked before the rest of it, even though he goes on to say he's "always been for E-Verify." Gutierrez to the Post:

I think it is unfortunate the details of our plan are being revealed to the public outside of the totality of the picture. I look at that and say, "Wow, you know, if it was like workers and management, all the management stuff came out, right? But none of the workers, what they negotiated, did." Obviously you make agreements based on the totality of the issues. You give and you take in order to make sure that you an agreement.

Last month, Matt Welch pointed out how Lindsey Graham described the process of crafting bills like this as involving various interests "coming back for more" carve outs in the legislation. We saw all this with Obamacare. Gutierrez's sentiment is not quite Nancy Pelosi's "we have to pass the bill so you can find out what's in it," but it betrays the same kind of Washington mentality. Rather than dealing with problems in a piecemeal way, on specific responses to specific issues, why not keep adding to the bill until you've got enough politicians on board? We're seeing the results of that kind of "lawmaking" with the fiasco that passes for Obamacare's implementation.

Gutierrez declined to talk about what else might be in the House's putative immigration bill, saying it wouldn't be "conducive to an agreement," and that "confidentiality" was "necessary in the process."  

Check out Reason's own guide to immigration reform here. Ira Stoll explains why the benefits of unskilled immigration are something Democrats and Republicans ought to agree on here, Shikha Dalmia explains why a "fully secure" border is a fantasy here, and I make the case for amnesty here.