Just the title of the hearing - "Holiday on ICE" - tells you a lot. ICE has recently undertaken a number of initiatives to improve health care, detention standards, access to counsel, etc. at its detention facilities after years of scathing reports. Now apparently the House Immigration Subcommittee thinks they're operating resorts and wants to know why detainees are being treated so well. The Karl Roves and Marco Rubios in the GOP must be cringing when they see this sort of thing. But perhaps losing the White House and a number of Senate and House seats as Hispanics vote in huge numbers for Democrats in the fall will have a sobering effect on the party. Of course, every pundit is saying the same thing and it doesn't seem to be getting through.
I've received press releases from several pro-immigration groups tearing in to Rubio as well as a scathing statement from the anti-immigrant Federation for American Immigration Reform. And Harry Reid has already said he won't consider a "watered down" bill. To be fair, no one yet knows the details. But the general assumption is that it will not offer much. I'm guessing it will focus on military service. Readers of this column know that I support piecemeal immigration reform measures since the political environment for comprehensive reform is dismal. So if the Rubio bill is a positive one, just not as broad as many would like, I will support it. Not so many years ago, members of both parties would come together and compromise rather than filibuster or otherwise kill every bill offered by the other party. If Rubio's bill is offered in the spirit of compromise, I will consider that a positive development.
Greg Siskind is a partner in Siskind Susser's Memphis, Tennessee, office. After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago. Mr. Siskind is a member of AILA, a board member of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and a member of the ABA, where he serves on the LPM Publishing Board as Marketing Vice Chairman. He is the author of several books, including the J Visa Guidebook and The Lawyer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet. Mr. Siskind practices all areas of immigration law, specializing in immigration matters of the health care and technology industries. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.