Wednesday, July 19, 2006

"The Trigger" and "The Blue Slip"

The Congressional Quarterly recently reported that talk of a "trigger" has been floating around the halls of Capitol Hill.

Conservative Senate Republicans have been discussing how a possible compromise on immigration reform could be the implementation of border-security provisions first which could eventually "trigger" broader immigration changes. The "trigger" is being suggested as a possible compromise between the Senate and House bills.

Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., told CQ that "Once they accept that we'll secure the borders first, I think there are a lot of things [in the Senate bill] that can be agreed to." Isakson proposed an amendment to this effect but it was defeated during floor debate in May. Now he and other senators said they thought the Senate would approve the measure if it was brought to the floor again, particularly if it helps create middle ground between the two bills.

House Representative Hastert told CQ that "If we do that and secure our borders, we're willing to look at other perspectives. I think there probably has to be some metric there, so probably what Sen. McCain is talking about has some substance."

Another term being discussed in relation to immigration is the "blue slip". In other words, only the House is allowed to pass revenue provisions and the Senate bill contains such measures. Apparently Senate leaders have still not figured out a way around the procedural problem that has stymied the bill. (Or perhaps this is just an excuse...)

ACTION STEP: Call your Senator (202.224.3121) and tell her/him that you do not agree with the 'trigger' plan. Tell them that you do not think more enforcement and detention is the necessary first step for immigration reform.