The 2008 lobbying effort has largely focused on the House. In April, we were fortunate to have HR 5924 introduced with high level bipartisan support of Rep. Wexler (D-FL) and Rep. Sensenbrenner (R-WI). Since then we’ve reached 17 cosponsors that are bipartisan and from geographically diverse districts.
In June, there was a hearing on HR 5924 in the House Immigration Subcommittee. It was expected that July would see the “marking up” of the bill – a process whereby the bill is brought out of the Subcommittee to the full Committee or full Membership for a vote.
Unfortunately we have recently learned that the bill has stalled and it is unlikley that it will be marked up. The problems appear to be the usual gridlock in Congress – too many Representatives unwilling to compromise and move legislation along unless “their” legislation is moved along too.
This leaves us with one more opportunity in 2008: a Defense authorization bill that had been scheduled to go before the Senate before the August recess, but has now been pushed back until after the August recess. It is expected to be in front of the Senate in September. This is our last realistic hope for this year. Some Senators are attempting to add immigration language and we are attempting to be part of that amendment to the defense authorization bill.
In order to continue our push for a Schedule A visa bill we will need to add to our active membership. Without additional members, we will not have enough funds or manpower to make our voice heard in August and September. If you are interested in adding your name to our cause, please contact Chris or Cindy.